Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bird Paparazzi

It is beautiful in my neck of the woods today. It's so sunny and warm it makes you want to go outside, running around like Julie Andrews in The Sound Of Music, singing your brains out and looking certifiable. Which is so much better than it was yesterday, which was so cold and rainy and wrong that all you wanted to do was hide in a cave until it passed.

Of course, this made me worry about the robins nest in my rhododendron. I was afraid the little eggs would be cold and shivery and wouldn't incubate properly (yes, I thought this even though I knew the mother or father bird sat on that nest all day long). When I voiced my concerns to my husband he sighed and said "They're fine Jen. Don't worry." But he knows me and knows that was a useless thing to say.

As it turns out, he was right (but don't tell him I said that). The mama or daddy bird was right back on the nest today, and sitting in a really great position for me to get a great shot:

I mean this the most considerate bird you've ever seen or what? I'm fairly certain it saw me hanging out the window (now that's a picture I should get and share here), but it didn't fly away or start yelling at me which I'm sure is what I'd do if someone were hanging out a window trying to get pictures of me.

I just found this great site online. I'm fairly certain the eggs were laid Friday to Sunday time frame, so it looks like I've probably got a week and a half before the little ones make their big debut.

Is it wrong how excite I am about this? I don't care. I feel like I've got the greatest science experience happening right in my yard. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Birds Do It, Bees Do It...

I live in an area that is fairly heavily wooded. Not that I live in the middle of Burkittsville, but there are a lot of trees and vegetation in my area and with that comes a fair number of wildlife creatures as well. In my yard alone I can tell you I have rabbits, skunks, squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, groundhogs and about 3 kabillion varieties of birds. If the chupacabra  walked through my yard I would not be surprised in the least.

And with it being spring time (at least I think it is, today is rainy and 40 degrees so it doesn't feel particularly springy) all the critters have come out to play, if you know what I mean.

Next to my front door is a big rhododendron that I'm certain has been there since the Jurassic period. It's huge I'm sure that if we ever got rid of it we'd find the most complex root system known to man. There are always birds flying in and out of it, but the other day a robin bolted out of it when my husband left the house and that's when I noticed a nest built in the branches.

This is not the first time we've had this happen. We had a nest there once years ago (it caused me great distress when it appeared that the parents had abandoned it and the babies right after they hatched. I was sure they left because I was watching the nest 24-7 and I called my husband at work in tears. That is an absolutely true story. I was beside myself and as he recalled the story to a fellow coworker said "I'm now going to have to get Jen a dog or a cat that she can take care of". Yes, I am certifiable). We also had nests in a large shrub on the side of our yard as well as a small tree in the center of the yard. I don't know what I've done to make my yard so hospitable to robins, but I'm glad I did.

I've been trying to give Mr. and Mrs. Robin their space, trying not to freak them out too much when I leave or enter the house. I tried getting pictures of the nest by just standing on the stairs next to the rhododendron, but it didn't work. That's when I became enterprising and realized the window of my office room was right over the bush and if I put my 70-300mm lens on my camera and hung out the window, I could get a pretty good shot without disturbing them too much. Of course anyone driving by would see me and think I'd lost my mind. And they'd be right.

See? There are three little eggs in the nest and they're so tiny and cute I may pass out. I even got a shot of Mrs. Robin (or Mr. Robin, I'm equal opportunity here) sitting on the nest. It's just so sweet I can't handle it.

I'm really looking forward to the babies hatching and getting pictures of them. Be prepared to see more pictures just like this in the coming days. I'm off to Google robins and find out as much info on how long it will take for the eggs to hatch and how long they will stay in the next once they are born. I'm getting way too into this, aren't I?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Amazingly They Don't Bounce

A few weeks ago (probably more like a few months ago since I have no linear concept of time...maybe I'm a Time Lord! How cool would that be?) I had my camera and my favorite lens in the universe (my 50mm) in hand, ready to take a few shots (of what I don't recall and you'll see why). I needed to put said lens on my camera so I sat the camera down on the back of our arm chair (bad idea) as well as the lens (even badder idea).

The lens, being round and having the ability to roll, rolled right off the back of the arm chair where it plummeted toward my hardwood floor at an alarming rate.

This all took about 3.6 nanoseconds to unfold, yet it seemed like I stood there for a week watching it fall, unable to do a flipping thing about it.

Once it had completed it's journey, I bent over and gingerly picked it up, silently praying that it was okay because this was a really expensive lens and my life would be on the line if it wasn't.

I won't try to describe the damage. I'll let a photo illustrate the damage:

When one has just dropped a pricey piece of equipment and thus does not have the ability to use their camera, they turn to one that is still working. In that moment it was my iPhone and Instagram.

I honestly thought for a minute that I could fix this. That passed quickly when I realized monkeys are smarter than me, so I had to muster up the courage to let my husband know that this had happened. I also planned to dye my hair black and go to Mexico.

I worried for naught...he was sweet, he said accidents happen and we'd send it in to have it fixed. I married a saint people. A SAINT.

I just got my lens back today and I am happy to report that it works extremely well.

So learn from my mistake children. Although camera lenses are round, they don't bounce. And they will break if dropped. They're kind of fickle like that.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Freaking Out Level: Boss

So I was sitting here at my desk, looking at all the glory that the world wide of webs has to offer, when I thought "I haven't written a blog post in a while, I should do that!" I even had the perfect subject for said post, along with a photo I took this morning...

"Coming Out Of My Winter Hibernation Just Like My Hydrangea"

Only when I typed my blog name into my browser it didn't take me to my blog. Instead it showed me a message saying something along the lines of "Hey! This blog has been removed! Click here to find out why!"

Now, a normal person would just click on the link and rectify the situation. But I'm not a normal person. I'm an Abby Normal type person, so I freaked out and when I say freaked out I mean my heart started pounding and I was sure Kim Jong-un was behind the whole thing (he seems to be behind everything these days so it made perfect sense to me). 

When I stopped being weird about the message (I never stopped being weird, do not fear) I clicked on the link and it told me to provide Google with a phone number so they could get a hold of me and see what was going on.

Okay...freak out still on...thankfully I'm married to a man who is smarter than the average bear so I shot him off a text trying to paraphrase this whole predicament. Being the sweet, level headed man that he is (and after 20 years together knows how to handle my crazy) he explained that this is what Google does and assured me it was totally fine and the world wasn't going to end.

So I provided a number and was immediately given a security code to get my account back. I punched that in and was strongly urged to change my password as the existing one was "weak". That made me feel a little bad about myself since I had come up with the password in the first place, but I acquiesced and gave them a new one that they verified as being "strong". So apparently my new password could kick my old password's butt.

I have to admit...this story I just told is way better than my original idea for a blog post. Dear World Wide of Webs, Keep freaking me out and I'll have some great stuff to write about. Love, Jen