Bookmarque’s Padded Cell 2023 - It’s a kind of madness (1)

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Bookmarque’s Padded Cell 2023 - It’s a kind of madness (1)

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 2, 3:06 pm

~~ Once more welcome to the Undisciplined Reading Room ~~

2023! Jeez, we’ve been doing this for a long time. Now that we have a better charts and graphs page, you can click this link to have an idea of what I am into for listening and reading -

You can find my previous threads here if you want to catch up on past insanity.


I still participate in the Books Read In lists so here they are (a list of lists!) -

Books read 2022
Books read 2021
Books read 2020
Books read 2019
Books read 2018
Books read 2017
Books read 2016
Books read 2015
Books read 2014

My thread tends to be photo heavy since I am a photographer and am usually out in all seasons. This Christmas I received a battery-powered heated jacket and some great photography winter gloves so as soon as Covid gives me a break, I’ll be out and about in all the wintery goodness.

So here goes another year in the pub!

tammikuu 2, 3:24 pm

I’m looking forward to all your pictures this year! Happy New Year!

tammikuu 2, 3:51 pm

Happy New Year and happy photo taking! Feel better soon :)

tammikuu 2, 3:54 pm

Happy New Year! I look forward to seeing your book lists and your photos.

tammikuu 2, 6:21 pm

Welcome to the new year!

tammikuu 2, 6:30 pm

Happy New Thread! It's a kind of magic! magic, magic...

tammikuu 3, 3:26 am

Happy New Year; happy new thread!

tammikuu 3, 3:35 am

Happy new year, fresh, free, and undisciplined as it may be. Still starred.

tammikuu 3, 8:12 pm

Wishing you a wonderful new year, beginning with getting healthy!

tammikuu 3, 8:42 pm

Happy photographing in 2023!

tammikuu 4, 8:51 am

Thanks everyone! It's snowing lightly now and I'm so tempted to go out in it. We'll see if this cough lets up at all. That's the lingering symptom I have, but it's really annoying.

Anyway, seems like the beginning of my years feature comic books, at least lately. This year I'm trying to read these -

. ...

At least that's what I've managed so far. I find the expository prose a bit much to get through and the dialog, well, it's ok. The artwork started off cartoony, but reasonable. Now everyone male is absolutely hulking and everyone female looks like a 5' nothing Barbie doll. Still there are glimmers of the author's fabled humor sprinkled in now and then so I'll probably finish them, but I'm not giving any high ratings. I'd hoped for better, and the 1st volume of the second omnibus just wouldn't load from Amazon. They're part of the Kindle Unlimited collection and it's just maddening when that happens. Oh well, the rest have downloaded fine and they pass the time in a fun-ish kind of way.

tammikuu 4, 11:12 am

Happy New Year and Happy new Thread! I'm looking forward to more of your photographs and musings this year!

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 4, 3:46 pm

>11 Bookmarque: I have only read Welcome to the Jungle. I didn't enjoy it as much as the books, but I thought that was just me and graphic novels.

tammikuu 5, 8:31 am

I am ok with them so far, but I've read better graphic novel series.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 8, 12:15 pm

Just parking this here since I really enjoy Glenn and the guests he has on his show as well as his regular conversations with John McWhorter. I'm a paid subscriber to his Substack platform and have three one month subscriptions I can give away. There is a newsletter, various essays and other written stuff he does as well as the podcast and YouTube channel. A lot of it is free, but some isn't and thus the subscription. If you'd like one, PM me your email address and I'll use the form on the site to get it out to you. First come, first served! Here are a couple cover shots of recent conversations -

Duh, the link to Glenn's substack -

tammikuu 10, 9:03 pm

>15 Bookmarque: I have a huge crush on John McWhorter, but I don't think I'd have time for that webiste. I'm glad you are enjoying it, though!

tammikuu 11, 8:53 am

Oh so do fangirl. Do you listen to his Lexicon Valley podcast? Full of nerdly language info. He also does every other week with Glenn Loury and they play off each other quite well. Most of what Glenn does is podcast oriented, so let me know if that changes anything.

Am going to try to get my stats for the year together. I have always done it separately with Google docs, but this year I think I'll try to get everything I can out of our new stats and charts data. See where that takes me. Lots of audio, that much I can tell you already! Like five physical books or something crazy.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 12, 3:14 pm

Stats! Stats! Get your juicy stats!

And the breakdown per month -

You can definitely see where I started listening to the backlog of a podcast since the numbers for October & November are so low. And although I don't count them as part of my "reading" I do audio dramas so I really can't say I read a lot of "books" per se. More I got through a lot of media or programming. It's just how it went this year. Although I know Radio Drama and Graphic Novel aren't genres either, I didn't know how else to categorize them so I could see how many of each I consumed this year. Kind of a lot!

No surprise here -

Year-over-year trend for format -

tammikuu 12, 3:08 pm

And more. Not a lot of non-fiction this year, numbers and percentage-wise -

Year-over-year in yearly comparison and as a trendline -

tammikuu 12, 3:35 pm

And a breakdown of what I bought - new and used, borrowed and from where -

Borrowing venues have expanded!

tammikuu 13, 9:57 am

>18 Bookmarque:, >19 Bookmarque:, >20 Bookmarque: Your stats are so sexy! What a fun way to look at the year of reading. Did you find the LT stat charts helpful this year, or did you go back and use your former method?

tammikuu 13, 10:29 am

Thanks MrsL! I tried to use the LT charts, but they're of such limited utility that I gave up. For example -

Ok so you know the date range and collections and you get to see a huge amount of screen space that means nothing, but where are the data labels? Drives me batty. It's not the only thing that does about the "improved" stats and charts, but it will do for now.

tammikuu 13, 11:28 am

>18 Bookmarque: >19 Bookmarque: >20 Bookmarque: Ooooh, stats, very nice! I'm super impressed and thanks for posting them. Did you put everything in a spreadsheet?

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 13, 1:26 pm

Thanks Karlstar - I do use a spreadsheet in Google docs, both for the year's reading and a separate one that does the year by year comparisons. It's a strange, but oddly satisfying thing to fool with at the end of each year. I had high hopes for the LT charts update, but alas, not useful enough unless you're on the page itself.

I've made a couple of tweaks to this year's spreadsheet to separate radio drama and graphic novel which are merely ways of telling a story not genres. So far I have -

Graphic novel
Radio drama
Narrative (for linear stories like novels, short stories, narrative non-fiction, essays, etc.)

I could add podcast or streaming to that, but I haven't done that. No doubt things will change as I go on, but at least now I can have a radio drama that is a mystery and a graphic novel that is horror, etc.

Format is still -

And I've attempted to make sure I group genre correctly I've started using drop-down menu items instead of free-form text.

tammikuu 13, 2:29 pm

OK so a new chart for last year - my most read authors/creators. I put the cut off at 4 books or more so -

Scott Snyder, Raphael S and Terry Moore are all comic book authors.

tammikuu 13, 10:08 pm

>24 Bookmarque: I used to use the Book Collector software, which does a great export to a spreadsheet. Have you tried the LT export?

tammikuu 14, 8:52 am

Hm, that's an idea. I'll try it with the '22 data and see if it helps any.

tammikuu 14, 9:53 am

I always find other people's stats to be interesting to look at; in part, it tends to make me pause and think about my own habits in reading choices. I think your item up there in #20 about where you borrow your titles from offers an interesting view of behaviors shifting.

tammikuu 17, 9:45 am

I usually don’t submit my photos to contests, but this year I did and this one of the Prairie River is a finalist for the People’s Choice award.

So you know what that means...gotta get out the vote! If you'd like to help me out, click here to choose my photo -

Thanks everyone!

tammikuu 17, 10:06 am

Congrats! That's awesome, and it's a beautiful photo. I love how vividly green the moss is.

I love the spider photo as well. Spiders are so rad.

Fingers crossed for you! :)

tammikuu 17, 10:10 am

>29 Bookmarque: Done with pleasure! It's beautiful, like all your pictures.

tammikuu 17, 10:15 am

>29 Bookmarque: Done! I don’t usually comment on your pictures, but this time is different.

tammikuu 17, 11:16 am

>29 Bookmarque: Voted with fingers crossed!

tammikuu 17, 1:12 pm

>29 Bookmarque:
Lovely photograph. Voted!

Good luck!

tammikuu 17, 4:20 pm

>29 Bookmarque: All of your photographs should win! I voted.

tammikuu 17, 8:40 pm

>29 Bookmarque: Very nice! As were all of the candidates, but yours had a certain je ne sais quoi, so I voted for it.

tammikuu 18, 8:54 am

Thanks everyone for the support and votes. I appreciate it!

tammikuu 18, 6:46 pm

Yep, I did not have to violate my sense of rightness to vote for yours. It is lovely. A path into a mythical golden world.

tammikuu 18, 9:26 pm

I voted! You take such amazing photos!

tammikuu 19, 1:49 am

I voted for you too. Your photos are wonderful.

tammikuu 19, 8:08 am

Thanks again peeps. I'm crossing my fingers and will know in February.

tammikuu 19, 8:30 am

>41 Bookmarque: Best of luck!

tammikuu 19, 9:40 am

Gorgeous! I've voted too! Your photos make me want to visit Wisconsin one day.

tammikuu 21, 2:29 pm

>29 Bookmarque: I voted. Good luck!

tammikuu 21, 3:16 pm

Thanks to everyone who voted. Clear your cookies and do it again!!!

Ahem. Yeah, that would take cheating to a whole new level wouldn't it? Eek.

So anyway, here are a couple eagles in trees for you -

Two different eagles, trees and days. Now whenever I drive anywhere for a photography session, I leave the camera on the passenger seat with the long telephoto zoom on it so I'll be ready. The second one was taken while sitting in the car, but I got out for the first one and it's a good example of why staying in the car is the preferred method. It got fed up with me. As soon as I got into a better position on the other side of the road, it flew. Not when I had the camera ready or anything though, just before. To be annoying. But winter eagles are eagles at leisure - no kids, no nest, no pair bonding rituals. Just lots of free time. The delinquents! I encourage them to hang out on street corners more often!

tammikuu 21, 6:09 pm

>45 Bookmarque: such beautiful birds. The other day we had two flying over our playground at work. I had to explain to my younger coworker how rare it was to see one when I was a kid. She had no idea they used to be endangered.

tammikuu 22, 9:23 am

Yeah I remember when they were wicked scarce, too. When I lived in NH I don't think I saw any until I was in my 20s and a pair nested by the once intensely polluted Merrimack river. It was flying way up there, but you could tell what it was. The local news outlets went bananas and the pair stayed put for a long time. A huge highway offramp was delayed for a couple of years because of the proximity of the nest. Eventually it went through, but the eagles didn't go far.

I've already seen one today while sitting on the couch that faces the windows looking out over the river. We have a local pair and there is some open water so no doubt it's looking for breakfast. The other day a juvenile landed on the ice where we could watch it devour a fish between the branches of some trees. So glad they are back and I think I'll always be captivated by them no matter how often I see one.

tammikuu 22, 9:43 am

Beautiful photos! One flew by my dad's window a few weeks ago. They're so majestic. I found a large feather I think was shed by it a few days later.

I was a kid when they were endangered. I can remember the depressing news reports. So wonderful that they've been restored, and I saw a video of dolphins fishing in the restored Bronx River a couple of days ago.

tammikuu 22, 8:06 pm

>45 Bookmarque: Lovely photos! Thank you for sharing. Because I too remember when they were put on the endangered list.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 27, 7:15 pm

Thanks everyone. It's hard to get a bad shot of a baldie in a tree.

Can you believe a reader can live to be over 50 without reading Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Funny, it took Michael C. Hall to put me over the top. I recently listened to him narrate Pet Sematary and he did such a great job that I searched audible for anything else he might have done and Breakfast is one of them. I liked it, but was surprised by it in a good way. I haven’t even seen the movie all the way through, but my impressions based on stills and posters was of a rom-com basically. I mean, Audrey Hepburn was that kind of actress, right? Played sort of quirky characters and was irrepressibly cute, but unpredictable. Plus Blake Edwards?! Come on!

Count me surprised by the husband and her child bride status, the drug ring arrest and her subsequent flight to Brazil. I liked the lingering sense of mystery about her fate and the equally mysterious African carving. I’m glad it wasn’t longer as it could have been drawn out and needlessly filled out with yet more eccentric characters and situations a la Armistead Maupin. Still can’t bring myself to slog through Cold Blood though. That was too creepy to get past about 100 pages.

tammikuu 27, 9:02 pm

>50 Bookmarque: I enjoyed the novela, but I'd never seen the film so I had no idea what to expect. I picked it up after reading In Cold Blood. Talk about horse of a different color...

tammikuu 27, 9:15 pm

>50 Bookmarque: Me, I haven't read it. I watched the movie so long ago I remember very little of the story. I look at it now and again and think about reading it, but don't.

tammikuu 29, 2:47 pm

>50 Bookmarque: I didn’t even know it was a book! I watched the movie forever ago and don’t remember anything about it. I don’t even remember if I liked it.

tammikuu 29, 2:53 pm

>50 Bookmarque: I haven't read it either, and I can barely remember 50. But now maybe I will.

tammikuu 30, 6:44 am

>50 Bookmarque: The movie is basically a rom-com compared to the book. Both are great but in very different ways.

tammikuu 30, 1:10 pm

Well I knew some of you would relate! Woo hoo! Interesting that the movie hits the rom-com thing so hard, that's probably why I thought the book would be the same, but it isn't. Darker and more mysterious and opaque; we never really get to know Holly or her motivations. If anyone has an audible subscription you can get the book as part of the Audible Plus catalog and Michael C. Hall does a terrific job. I wish he would do more audio work, but he probably gets enough screen work to satisfy.

So here's a completely unrelated thing. Last summer I took a crap ton of video of the hummingbirds visiting flowers on my deck, but I'd never gotten around editing any of it to be usable. Partly it was the sheer complicated nature of any robust video editor and the learning curve, and partly it was laziness. So yesterday I dove back in and made this little 54 second video from cuts out of a very long single take of a hummingbird on the flowers. It's still pretty amateur, but I love how bendy and graceful she is and that you can see the movement of her tongue and throat as she drinks. It's entirely shot at 180 frames per second which is very slo-motion and thus there is no autofocus, only manual focus and that was another challenge, but technology tweaks let it work better than it would have without them. So I'll shut up and give you the link now -

I'll work on putting more together later this week. Isn't she the cutest thing?

tammikuu 30, 2:09 pm

>56 Bookmarque: Just when I thought your photos couldn't get more amazing, you hit us with a video like that. Truly wonderful, thank you.

tammikuu 30, 2:25 pm

>56 Bookmarque: Wow! I really enjoyed the baby deer video too.

tammikuu 30, 2:25 pm

>56 Bookmarque: that's lovely!

tammikuu 30, 2:43 pm

Thanks guys I'm glad you liked it. Right now that's the only one I have done for the hummies, but more coming and I have some other stuff I can work with, too. I'm SO NOT a videographer, but I do try. Witness the fawns playing clip (thanks ScoLgo). But I will get better over time. I think I have some of the porcupine I met last fall.

tammikuu 30, 5:38 pm

Absolutely gorgeous. And even at 180 frames per second the wings are still blurred.

tammikuu 31, 9:22 am

>56 Bookmarque: That's incredible! So beautiful, and the little details like being able to see it swallow the nectar are amazing.

tammikuu 31, 11:11 am

Thanks peeps. Yeah, those wings really do move, don't they? The swallowing and tongue movement is something I noticed as well. Once you spot the shape of the throat it's easy to pick out in stills, but until I looked at the slo-mo clips, I didn't see it for what it is.

tammikuu 31, 11:27 am

>56 Bookmarque: I like how she brings her own music.

tammikuu 31, 12:55 pm

Fantastic video, thank you! Really impressive how the tiny hummingbird makes even petunia flowers look big.

tammikuu 31, 12:57 pm

>56 Bookmarque:
Amazing video.

tammikuu 31, 9:47 pm

Thanks guys. I can't wait for them to come back...only 4 months to go!

tammikuu 31, 9:53 pm

>56 Bookmarque: That was so cool! They are such amazing creatures.

helmikuu 1, 10:49 am

>67 Bookmarque: Four months! I start putting out my feeders in April, but I rarely see one before June.

helmikuu 1, 12:02 pm

Yeah, we don't get them back until almost June. If we get a cold May and not many plants have set flowers yet it's tough on them if they get fooled into coming up early. Same with flycatchers like phoebes. We don't get full leaf-out until June. Then they all fall off in October.

helmikuu 2, 7:50 pm

>56 Bookmarque: Great little video! Hummingbirds are fantastic.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 19, 4:42 pm

Have another hummingbird video almost done. Just have to edit the music.

In the meantime, the western shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota during some sunsets -

It was so warm there is very little ice, but there was some luckily because it's really hard to shoot this lake without it. The foregrounds are blank and the water is vast - very unbalanced photos that are pretty boring as well. That middle one, for example, would never have worked without the odd green-blue reflection of the sky. Sunset does weird stuff to clouds - it really was that startling color.

Anyway...processing more from other times as well.

helmikuu 19, 8:49 pm

>72 Bookmarque: Great pictures, thank you! I just read that Lake Erie has the smallest amount of ice cover in many years, normally it is frozen over by now.

helmikuu 20, 8:49 am

Thanks much. It has been crazy warm up this way so I'm not surprised. Normally nearly all the liquid water you see in the photos would be frozen.

helmikuu 20, 4:28 pm

>72 Bookmarque: Wow. Just wow. I'm not sure I could live in that part of the world, given the winters, but your photography is wonderful.

helmikuu 20, 5:29 pm

>72 Bookmarque: Super photographs.

helmikuu 21, 3:20 am

>72 Bookmarque: "so warm there is very little ice"

I can only agree with >75 jillmwo:; when I saw your comment I was moved to be grateful that around here ice is only ever seen in the fridge or in some drinks!

helmikuu 21, 8:16 am

Thanks guys. I've always lived where it's cold and so it doesn't bother me at all. Since moving to an even colder place, I've become less heat tolerant than ever and anything over 75 is hot. Actually this winter has been very mild indeed. There is open water on the river right now and that's highly unusual for this time of year.

helmikuu 21, 8:19 am

>72 Bookmarque: These photos are so beautiful! Part of me would love to live in that cabin in the 3rd pic, even though I know it would be freezing! But that view ...

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 21, 8:26 am

It would certainly toughen you up! That's a fish shack used about 100 years ago to clean fish and has no insulation or stove! At least I don't think it does anymore. I have a close shot of it that I have to get to and I'll put it up when I do.

helmikuu 21, 8:31 am

Hmm. So cold and stinky? Maybe not!

helmikuu 21, 9:32 am

Here it is - no chimney!

And now that I think of it, I'm not sure it was for cleaning. It's awfully small for any kind of commercial operation. Hmm...will have to check and see if I can figure anything out.

helmikuu 21, 4:53 pm

>72 Bookmarque: Gorgeous to look at. (And perhaps visit... briefly! LOL)

Unlike you, my blood had thinned.

helmikuu 22, 6:50 am

>82 Bookmarque: That's great! I love the camera angle you chose, and the sunlight.

maaliskuu 21, 12:51 pm

Thanks peeps. Sorry for the absence here. Have been working through the tasks needed to go from Windows to Mac and have a new laptop. So much better for the graphics heavy stuff I do with photos and video. Light years faster than my old Lenovo, which although still functioning, just didn't have enough horsepower so to speak.

So now things have mostly settled down. Here are a few more photos from the trip to Lake Superior. More ice!

That last one is a view of a crack in what was an ice shelf cantilevered over the water. Another person on my workshop walked out on it and broke it off, making the crack that took advantage of to make a really effective leading line. Lucky for me and for him since he didn't fall and didn't drop any gear into the water. Totally stuck the landing!

maaliskuu 21, 2:42 pm

>85 Bookmarque: Gorgeous work! Ice really makes for some interesting formations!

maaliskuu 21, 3:24 pm

>85 Bookmarque: Congrats on joining us on the dark side …

maaliskuu 21, 6:31 pm

>85 Bookmarque: That top photo is surreal! I thought it was an abstract painting at first. Love it.

maaliskuu 21, 6:33 pm

Thanks peeps. The ice is quite extraordinary - especially with the cliffs. I think the different colors are from mineral deposits. The earth around Superior is heavy with iron and copper which are still mined there today, although not as much as in the past.

maaliskuu 21, 7:09 pm

>85 Bookmarque: Amazing photos.

maaliskuu 21, 7:32 pm

>85 Bookmarque: Incredible photos. I have to get a closer (larger) look on my PC screen at some point.

maaliskuu 22, 4:33 am

>85 Bookmarque:
Great pictures. The first one is outstanding.

maaliskuu 22, 6:22 am

Gorgeous photos!

maaliskuu 23, 9:27 am

Thanks everyone. I'll find a few more to post for you.

In the meantime, I've started this -

And have gotten through The Warden and Barchester Towers. Fairly delightful. The performances are very good and the story fun. Funny character names like Mr & Mrs Quiverful with their 14 children. I'm not sure how much of the small nuances aren't picked up in a dramatization like this, but it's fun and I'm not sure I have the attention span for the full audiobook. Am in the middle of Dr. Thorn and hope it heads where I think it will. Thanks to Pete and the other folks who have been discussing Trollope in their threads for the impetus to try him out.

maaliskuu 23, 5:13 pm

>94 Bookmarque:
I am delighted you are enjoying it. My book club meeting has just finished and I recommended The Warden as our next read and everyone was eager to read it.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 24, 10:01 am

It's a bit more romantic than I thought it might be and some of the plots are almost identical to some of Austen's, especially in the last segment I read where a penniless titled guy is hounded by his mother to marry rich, not for love. Of course the love ends up rich so we're good all around, but the mother's hectoring reminded me of Lady Catherine De Bourgh's in P&P. And they both went to browbeat the love interest as well.

maaliskuu 24, 4:07 pm

>85 Bookmarque: Great pictures, for an instant I thought the water was moving in the middle one, it is so clear and life-like.

maaliskuu 24, 5:24 pm

>96 Bookmarque: Doctor Thorne is indeed more of a love story than the preceding two novels. But Mary is a lovely heroine. And I picked up the same parallel to Austen's humor. Mr. Bennett would have thoroughly appreciated Trollope, given how he loved to make sport of his own neighbors.

maaliskuu 27, 12:44 pm

The water was moving a bit in that one Karlstar - but a fast shutter speed keeps it frozen. Plus the water is very clear so you can see to the bottom where it's shallow.

Agreed that Mary works well as a heroine. Am now in the middle of The Small House at Allington and it's about love and marriage, inheritance and class again. Clearly this was the overarching factor in everyone's lives at the time so consumes the narrative. Still enjoyable although now characters are starting to run together. Audible ran a sale and so I picked up a couple of straight up audiobooks and another radio drama that I used a promo $10 coupon to get. Makes those 5 hour items a bit more worth it.

maaliskuu 27, 12:44 pm

Oh and here's a photo from a recent rural ramble --

maaliskuu 27, 9:43 pm

Am watching an adaptation of Dr. Thorne by Julian Fellows on Amazon Prime. Not far into it, but it is beautifully shot.

maaliskuu 27, 10:14 pm

>101 Bookmarque: I enjoyed that one quite a bit.
>100 Bookmarque: Very pristine!

maaliskuu 28, 12:46 pm

>99 Bookmarque: Super clear, quite amazing. Lake Superior is still on my bucket list to get to someday.

maaliskuu 28, 12:54 pm

>101 Bookmarque: That adaptation was really quite well done and like you, I enjoyed it. One of the things that struck me in watching it was the similarity in how Trollope and Julian Fellowes approached story telling. Downton Abbey was in many ways very shallow because it skipped quickly across scenes to deliver the narrative. That's frequently how Trollop handles things in his delivery as well.

The other thing I liked about that adaptation was that Mary Thorne comes across as a woman of both humor as well as spirit. Trollope gets flack for how he renders his female characters but some of them were quite fun (Mary being one such heroine).

huhtikuu 18, 2:07 pm

I can't put it up directly here, but if you click the link you'll get to watch a 2 1/2 minute video of hummingbirds in my backyard. It was all shot in slow motion video in camera.

It's still a bit rough, but I've been working on it long enough.

huhtikuu 18, 4:43 pm

>105 Bookmarque: Awesome! I love it when the flower gets stuck on its beak!

huhtikuu 18, 6:27 pm

Glad you liked it. Funny, people usually mention the stuck flower, but not the pooping!

huhtikuu 18, 7:43 pm

>105 Bookmarque: Love this!

huhtikuu 18, 11:46 pm

>107 Bookmarque: Yeah, I caught that too. :)

huhtikuu 19, 4:24 am

>105 Bookmarque: Wonderful video! I really ejoyed it.

huhtikuu 19, 8:10 pm

>105 Bookmarque: Nice! Such amazing little birds.

huhtikuu 19, 8:36 pm

Thanks peeps! I can't wait for them to return this year. Hope I can set up a bathing/drinking station for them in addition to the flowers.

huhtikuu 26, 12:50 pm

Finally got to return to an eagle's nest on a small island in a lake I paddle once or twice a year. Unlike all the other eagle nests I photograph, this one can be seen from the shore. I wasn't sure it was an active nest since after the kids fledge, the adults don't use it. In winter the road to the campsites and boat launch is not plowed so earlier attempts to check it out were thwarted. Good thing too, since a tree came down across the road and was luckily cut apart when I arrived yesterday. After about an hour wait the pair showed up and I got this shot of a stick delivery! Am planning many return visits to see how their breeding season fares. Judging from the backside in this shot, if I can get the kayak into a good spot I might have a more open view of the nest.

huhtikuu 26, 1:01 pm

>113 Bookmarque: Great picture, really nice to see one coming in to land like that.

huhtikuu 27, 8:06 am

>113 Bookmarque: Great photo, and exciting news to come based on the signs!

huhtikuu 27, 10:37 am

Thanks guys. I hope this year proves interesting and with some lively youngsters.

huhtikuu 27, 10:38 am

>116 Bookmarque: I can't wait to see the pics of the babies.

huhtikuu 27, 2:24 pm

>113 Bookmarque: Great pic as always. ::like::

huhtikuu 27, 4:42 pm

Thanks peeps - not sure how much of the nestlings will show above the rim at first. When they're bigger and more mobile, they'll walk all over and then the fledging antics will start. Should be a lot of fun.

huhtikuu 28, 9:42 am

I’m catching up on threads. Seeing that hummingbird video made my day! I loved when the flower got stuck on its beak! So cute!

And your pictures are awesome, as always! :)

huhtikuu 30, 10:49 am

>113 Bookmarque: That nest is huge! I can't wait to see photos of the babies :)

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 30, 2:45 pm

I'm so glad catzteach! Everyone needs more hummingbirds being silly.

Eagle nests are continuously being added to and refurbished so they just grow and grow and grow. I suspect this one has been in use for 10 years, but it's not the largest one I've seen. Without them sitting in it, it can be difficult to see the size, but unless you know how big an adult bald eagle is relative to a human, even that can be strange. An eagle foot is as big as your hand (unless you have catcher's mitts!) and they are about 2 1/2 feet high. Females are noticeably larger than males and individuals from northern populations are noticeably larger than southern. Hope to get back to the nest sometime next week to check on them. In the meantime, here's a funny shot -

toukokuu 3, 9:59 am

So going to the extreme other end of the bird scale, here is a shot of a Ruby-crowned Kinglet foraging on the edge of the lawn in some hornbeam trees.

They are migrants here and I have never seen them before - this is a male. The females are identical except for that ruby crown. It was a minor miracle I got anything due to 20mph wind and that these guys are very small and very fast. They never stop moving! Quite a challenge for me and the autofocus system in my camera. All in all I have a handful that worked despite the branches blowing around in front and behind the wee birds. Threw away 100 photos or so that were unusable. Pretty standard for any wildlife work. If they are still around I'll see if a female makes an appearance.

toukokuu 3, 10:01 am

He is adorable! Looks like our Firecrest, which is tiny.

toukokuu 4, 2:15 pm

>123 Bookmarque: Respect. I can hardly find birds with the binoculars in that situation, let alone get a picture of them! Wonderful shots and well worth the sorting.

toukokuu 4, 8:17 pm

>123 Bookmarque: Such a cute little bird :D

toukokuu 5, 9:09 am

Thanks peeps! They are adorable and tiny and I think are gone now, but maybe next year they will be back. Here are a few more shots for you to fill your cute requirement for the day.

They are classified as tree-gleaners and is that ever true.

toukokuu 5, 9:32 am

Thank you for these. What a delightful bird.

toukokuu 6, 2:02 pm

You're welcome. They are cutie patooties.

toukokuu 12, 10:38 am

More backyard birds. This time a pair of yellow-bellied sapsuckers on a tree in the backyard. Here is the Mrs and the Mr -

And a 3-minute video of the male doing his thing -

All shot handheld while sitting on the ground. I bring a butt pad out with me and it's amazing what will come close if you're quiet and unobtrusive. Have a crap ton of photos and video of chipmunks that I'm working on.

toukokuu 12, 3:30 pm

Oooh, videos of chipmunks!?! Quite possibly my spirit-animal -- skittering about, cheeks bulging w/ food that may not be healthy, easily distracted.

Precisely, how is one able to tell which is male, which is female when it comes to yellow-bellied sapsuckers?

toukokuu 12, 6:10 pm

Boys have red chins, girls have yellow ones. Otherwise, they're pretty identical.

Here's a chippie just for you!

Most of my video is of this little guy.

toukokuu 13, 11:05 am

>132 Bookmarque: Now see this is real kindness. Factual information about the sapsuckers and a photo of a chipmunk just for fun. You are wonderful!!

toukokuu 13, 3:40 pm

Adorable birds! Cute chipmunk!

toukokuu 15, 7:55 am

>127 Bookmarque: >130 Bookmarque: Great pictures and educational! Thank you.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 15, 9:31 am

Thanks guys. Bird activity has been cranking up lately, especially as the cavity-nesting ducks are house hunting. Today it's mostly Hooded Mergansers flapping around in the trees, but the other morning it was this pair -

Wood ducks having a discussion about whether they should go for the abandoned Pileated woodpecker nest or the new housing development (a duck box built by me and put up last fall).

I shot this straight out an open window into the backyard. Lucky for me they didn't have any branches in front of their faces, were close enough together for both to be in focus and that the leaves were still small enough to frame them well without being too overwhelming.

toukokuu 15, 12:58 pm

Great shots, all of them.

toukokuu 15, 1:39 pm

>136 Bookmarque: I for one will be interested in hearing which housing arrangement the Wood ducks finally settle on. (I hope it's your duck box.)

toukokuu 16, 5:47 am

Beautiful photos! I love the wood ducks especially.

toukokuu 16, 3:32 pm

>136 Bookmarque: That should be on a magazine cover.

toukokuu 16, 7:26 pm

Thanks guys. I have no idea who gets the nest in any given year. It's too hard to keep watching and then the leaves grow in and I can't see the hole in the tree anymore. I really need to go check the nest box and see if anyone claimed it. In the meantime, here's a nuthatch -

toukokuu 16, 8:54 pm

If you squint your eyes and imagine a little, you can see that the foliage clear space around them is sort of heart shaped. Sweet photo. Also love nuthatches.

toukokuu 17, 7:04 pm

Nuthatches are fun to watch as they bounce up and down trees :)

toukokuu 18, 9:18 am

>141 Bookmarque: They are such perky-looking little birds!

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 29, 3:45 pm

They are super cute. And fun to watch. And they make the funniest little honks.

For a change of pace, a Trumpeter Swan -

I think it's a male, but I'm not sure. I was in the kayak and he appeared coming out from behind a beaver lodge and kept pace with me, just slightly ahead, until I was an acceptable distance from what was probably his mate on the nest. He wasn't overly concerned as I drifted closer, eventually wedging the kayak on a dead tree for some stability. He would feed and preen occasionally while making sure I wasn't coming any nearer. I know better having been charged by a male before as he was defending his territory and I didn't see him until it was too late. This time I did and played it safe. They are really big when they're up close and angry, LOL. This guy though, was chill.

toukokuu 29, 5:08 pm

>145 Bookmarque: I'm glad you are not one of those people who thinks all critters in nature are benevolent. We want you around for a good long time.

toukokuu 29, 5:32 pm

Oh no, not me. Plenty of stuff will mess with you and when they have wingspans of about 8 feet, I bow to their superiority. I may head back in a day or two and see if there are any cygnets yet.

toukokuu 29, 9:41 pm

>145 Bookmarque: Great pictures, thanks. A wise choice, wouldn't want that to be your swan song.

toukokuu 30, 4:02 am

>145 Bookmarque:
Great pictures.

I have known swans to break arms and snap oars when defending their territory. Definitely not to be messed with.

toukokuu 30, 7:08 am

>145 Bookmarque: I love this one.

>148 Karlstar: *groan* :D

toukokuu 30, 2:23 pm

>145 Bookmarque: I've always thought of geese as being big and a bit vicious. Hadn't really considered that I should be equally as wary of a trumpeter swan.

toukokuu 30, 3:48 pm

Thanks peeps. I've had a lot more experience on the water since my first encounter with swans (mute swans, not trumpeters, but basically the same size). With a decade of kayaking behind me now, I understand so much more and I'm much more aware of the life around me.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 2, 8:36 am

This is why I love T.C. Boyle so much -

"They were like jewelry, living jewelry, and she could see herself wearing one wrapped around her shoulders to Bobo's or the Cornerstone and sitting at a sidewalk table while people strolled by and pretended not to notice."

Opening sentence!! OMG. He has such style. It's from his newest novel Blue Skies which I got yesterday, but won't have time to get to until next week.

In the meantime, here are some of our very smallest birds, just to shake things up.

Isn't she gorgeous? And now for mister -

Both taken a few days ago after I finally got the flowers they like planted. We also got the couch back up there so I just hang out there with the camera and wait. Luckily I don't usually have to wait long.

kesäkuu 2, 12:09 pm

Great photos. What kind of plant is that?

I'm also a Boyle fan, but have not read anything of his for quite a while.

kesäkuu 2, 2:01 pm

>153 Bookmarque: Lovely pictures.

kesäkuu 3, 7:20 pm

I forget the name of the plant, Clam. They are slightly different variations of the same thing, I think, and go under different trade names. I'll see if I can find the tags when I get home. The hummies love them.

kesäkuu 4, 1:47 pm

>156 Bookmarque: I saw the plant at a conservatory earlier in the week but I already forgot the name, I'd be interested when you look it up, thank you!

kesäkuu 5, 5:11 am

>153 Bookmarque: So beautiful!

Blue skies is already on my wishlist otherwise you'd have hit me with a BB based on that quote!

kesäkuu 5, 7:17 am

I hope it turns out to be a good one for us, Sakerfalcon, he has some duds in his catalog for me. But he can write the walls down, can't he?

Am still in the southern part of the state and am going to tour Frank Lloyd Wright's original campus Taliesin later today before heading home. It was a nice little break with great roads for taking the 911 out on, plus meeting a bunch of other Porsche owners and seeing all their amazing cars. Not much time for photography though so here's a couple of our pair I took last month -

and the mister -

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 5, 7:34 pm

>159 Bookmarque: Is that maybe 'Cigar plant', aka 'firecracker' plant, Cuphea ignea?? It would be an annual in the north.

kesäkuu 6, 4:12 pm

Well, the tags got thrown out, but the name Cuphea sounds familiar. I've seen them under the trade name Vermillions or something like that as well. I mean the red version, not the pink. The male is on the pinker ones that have smaller flowers.

kesäkuu 6, 10:20 pm

>161 Bookmarque: Thanks, I should have written down a note when I saw them instead of hoping I'd remember. Haven't seen one in a nursery yet this year but I'll keep looking.

kesäkuu 7, 11:20 am

Hope you find some. The little guys like them.

Speaking of little guys. I was doing some video of another spider with a big June bug in her web, but on one of her breaks I did some practice video on a firefly crawling on the window ledge. Little did we know the drama that would ensue -

Click to view the video (it's less than a minute long).

kesäkuu 7, 11:28 am

>163 Bookmarque: Very cool! I was not entirely sure what I was seeing, at first I thought the spider was tickling the firefly. ;)

kesäkuu 7, 11:34 am

Thanks! It happened so fast, but I was filming at 30 frames per second which is just fast enough to be slowed down without too much jiggle showing up. If I'd been shooting in 60fps it could be slowed down more with better smoothness.

I had the same thought that it looked like a tickle attack, but no, it was a failed lunch grab.