Monday, May 31, 2010


A visit to NYC...

(which felt kinda counterintuitive on Memorial Day Weekend, considering the horrendous traffic heading OUT of the city)

but I live at the beach

(lucky me, I know)


I saw Strawberry Fields, finally, and was reminded of my best friend growing up and her total adoration of all things John Lennon...

I wandered around The Ramble in Central Park looking for photographic opportunities and good birds...

and loving the fun edge-aberrations of MevetS' wide-angle lens.

I was prowling for stranger pics and found many...

NYC is especially good for that!

A happy bride on a beautiful day...

Somewhere along those wooded paths, by a bridge, we came upon a drumming group... but this one had singers!

My sense was that they were Cuban and this old guy...


He totally stole my heart and my imagination and reminded me, somehow, of a long-dead uncle who I wish had lived long enough to share his stories with me..

I very nearly got run over by a bus to take this shot on 42nd street...

NYC is madness!!

death by bus or yellow cab, I wondered, as my short life flashed before my eyes

It's Fleet Week and Steve forced me to talk to lots of handsome sailors...


Who insist they HAVE TO wear the uniform and don't do it just to pick up girls...


The real reason for this crazy goose-chase across NYC was Manhattanhendge, which we somehow missed...


At the end of the day, in Times Square, I felt very much like a country-bumpkin, out of my element, distracted with the bright lights and the madness of city life... and very glad for the little patch of sand waiting for me at home by the sea.

: )

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Birds are still singing;

the trees are long past their first delicate greening.

Peepers at the roadside are suddenly quiet.

The northward surge of Spring is past us now.

Summer flowers are blooming;

Canada Mayflowers put on quite a show this year

and I found my first blooming Starflower

(but the photo was awful!)

Birds are looking for homes

in boxes and under bridges,

gathering twigs and feathers.

Or building nests

from vines and rootlets

and whatever magic things they can weave together.

They're making babies.


Lots and lots of babies!

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I'm planting flowers of my own

and reading books

(and remembering how much I love the poetry of the Spanish language.)

I'm checking-off lists

and working on this year's.

It's a big one!

I'm planning a very private party to celebrate

and wanting to wander some, to contemplate

and squander time, letting it pass ungathered and unregretted.

There's no pictures yet to share.

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What're you up to?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

All at once

"All at once
The world can overwhelm me
There's almost nothing that you could tell me
That could ease my mind

Which way will you run
When it's always all around you
And the feeling lost and found you again
A feeling that we have no control

Around the sun
Some say
There's gonna be the new hell
Some say
It's still too early to tell
Some say
It really ain't no myth at all...

Nobody really knows
But underneath it all
There's this heart all alone

What about when it's gone
And it really won't be so long
Sometimes it feels like a heart is no place to be singing from at all

There's a world we've never seen
There's still hope between the dreams
The weight of it all
Could blow away with a breeze
If you're waiting on the wind
Don't forget to breathe

Cause as the darkness gets deeper
We'll be sinking so we reach for love
At least something we could hold
But I'll reach to you from where time just cant go

Cause what about when it's gone
And it really wont be so long
Sometimes it feels like a heart is no place to be singing from at all"

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The Jack Johnson song is here.

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Images lifted from here. It's a painful watch, but the least we can do, I think.

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Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research is a somewhat local organization that's directly involved in mitigating this mess we've made. It's also where my small donation is going.

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I'm sharing some of the most arresting (and heartbreaking) images I've seen thus far... and wondering at all the fumbling and finger-pointing that's going on while wildlife suffers. Why wasn't there some sort of plan in place... I mean, couldn't this type of disaster have been foreseen?

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I'm sort of going through the motions here...

Have you noticed?

Of course you have. I apologize.

Someday soon I'll get back on track, find a place to write from again.

In the meantime, I'm marveling in Spring as much as my full-time job in a cubicle allows. There's lunchtimes spent with strip-mall birds and evenings beside this little lake with swallows and night herons and kingbirds for entertainment. There's been whole weekends devoted to wildflowers and birds and traveling to be with friends.

I wander with my camera, annoyed with this crappy lens, annoyed with how little of the magic I see and the wonder I feel that it seems able to capture, annoyed with my inability to describe any of it in words.

I'm in some sort of a funk, probably.

I'm reading again instead, finally. Voraciously, somehow, after months on end of not being able to concentrate on anything as solid as a book. Probably that's the fuel I need to have anything of import to say here.



I'm reading about horses again and I'm afraid I might finally have decided what I really want for my 40th.


Bear with me.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bad bird photo of the week

More warbler butts...


(there was no shortage of shots like this from this past weekend)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A bird in the hand

brings a quick smile to the face!

I wandered away for a bit on World Series Day to spend a couple minutes with Tom while he banded birds. This is his second spring at Sandy Hook and Saturday found his nets overflowing with migrants! Canadas, like this one, were everywhere... as were Magnolias and Wilson's.

I hung around taking photos and waiting for the rest of the crowd to amble away... finally Tom asked me if I'd like to hold a Magnolia that he'd just finished processing.


I felt strangely hesitant and scared... I'd held birds before, hawks, even tiny hummingbirds, but only injured or window-strike dazed birds. These wide-awake and eager-to-go warblers frightened me with their flutterings and protests.

Silly me... it's just a little bird!

I'm sure my face was as giddy as this lady's was... to feel those feathers in my hand, that tiny beating heart beneath my fingers and its trembling...

A sweet unexpected gift.

: )

Monday, May 17, 2010

World Series 2010

They were almost delirious enough around 7 pm to smile at my camera without much prodding beyond, "Time for the obligatory group photo everyone!"


We'd been out for better than 12 hours at that point and had just about tallied our total for the day, save for the odd swallow and a bittern that never materialized. It was a fabulous day for birds... the kind of day where you just want to plant yourself in one spot and watch wave after wave of migrants come to you; it was that good! Sandy Hook can be spectacular under the right conditions and this year's World Series of Birding was just such a day. We ended with a record-setting (for us) 143 species!

And to think some birders go midnight to midnight and traipse across the whole state for less.


Bad bird pics to follow, shortly. Previous posts about WSB are gathered here.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Cheaper than therapy

Susan and I love that swing at the farmhouse. There's some magic that happens for us there on the porch... we talk lots, of course, and make jokes and giggle like silly girls, but there's something more and whatever it is, it's cheaper than therapy.


Love ya Ohio!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Bad bird photo of the week

Anyone else think there ought to be a field guide to warbler butts?


Sunday, May 02, 2010

Side of the road

You wait in the car on the side of the road
Lemme go and stand awhile
I wanna know you're there, but I wanna be alone
If only for a minute or two
I wanna see what it feels like to be without you

I wanna know the touch of my own skin
Against the sun, against the wind
If I stray away too far from you, don't go and try to find me
It doesn't mean I don't love you, it doesn't mean I won't come back and stay beside you

It only means I need a little time
To follow that unbroken line
To a place where the wild things grow
To a place where I used to always go

If only for a minute or two
I wanna see what it feels like to be without you
I wanna know the touch of my own skin
Against the sun, against the wind.

A thousand miles there and back to spend a day with friends, old and new, gathered for the New River Birding and Nature Festival might seem crazy to some...

In fact, probably it was crazy to do, but the singing birds, the people, the chance to wander alone looking for wildflowers in those riotously rich West Virginia mountains ... it's all kinda irresistible to me.

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Lyrics from "Side of the Road" by Lucinda Williams.

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(1) Windflower (Anemone sp.) Among my favorite wildflowers, Anemones are heartbreakingly beautiful and delicate

(2) Showy Orchis (Orchis spectabilis) I dragged Jim McCormac out in the near dark yesterday to show me where to find this beauty

(3) A giddy me photographing blooming May-Apples

(4) May Apple flower (Podophyllum peltatum) The parasol-like foliage of May-Apples is cool enough, but the flowers are especially lovely; more so cause you have to lie with your face in the dirt to photograph them where they hide beneath the leaves


(5) Fire Pink (Silene virginica) So named not because of their color, obviously, but because of the scissor-like notches on the petals... thanks Susan!

Fire Pink and silly me photos by MevetS.