Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mid-week bunny fix

Fair Bunnies!

Lionhead Bunny

Currently quite the rage among bunny breeders, but I sneeze just looking at them.

English Lop Bunny

Those floppy ears can be as much as 22 inches long... kinda silly, I think, but breeders entertain themselves this way.


Friendly 4-H People

Imagine that! I have to commend this group, unlike those at my local county fair, for actually engaging the public and letting us pet and enjoy the bunnies there on display. Usually the bunnies are left to pant for days in the heat, poked at by passerby, for the sake of a blue show ribbon. Getting the bunnies out of their cages where interested folks could touch them lovingly makes so much more sense, don't you think?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tern, tern, tern

The birds shrug off
the slant air,
they plunge into the sea
and vanish
under the glassy edges
of the water,

and then come back,
as white as snow,
shaking themselves,
shaking the little silver fish,
crying out
in their own language,
voices like rough bells--

it's wonderful
and it happens whenever
the tide starts its gushing
journey back, every morning
or afternoon.

This is a poem
about death,
about the heart blanching
in its folds of shadows
because it knows
someday it will be
the fish and the wave
and no longer itself--
it will be those white wings,
flying in and out
of the darkness
but not knowing it--
this is a poem about loving
the world and everything in it:
the self, the perpetual muscle,
the passage in and out, the bristling
swing of the sea.

--The Terns by Mary Oliver from House of Light, 1990

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All Commons, I guess. The Leasts are just too quick to photograph in the air. They're still feeding babies on my favorite sandbar at Horseshoe Cove on Sandy Hook, but today there were far fewer loafing around. Maybe it's just that the tide was higher this time.

I'm collecting tern poems if anyone has any to share...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sea swallows

Field guides will tell you that terns are closely related to gulls and suggest that, because of similar feeding habits and a shared gregariousness, one might find all members of the Laridae family of birds equally deserving of our admiration.

That might be true for you, but I mostly ignore gulls in favor of terns. Exceptions to that are the handsome summer presence of Laughing Gulls and the dainty Bonaparte's in winter.

In terns I see long fast wings that dance over the sun-dappled sea as it heaves at my feet...


the hover-and-plunge feeding technique so suited to little waves and the little fish they pluck from the shadows...


the dark eyes and sharp downward-pointed bills, the rising cloud of white birds and the storm of their cries all around me...

A particular joy at this time of the season, late July, when young terns and young osprey at Sandy Hook are learning to fish and to make their way in the world is to place myself among them on the bay near to sunset: behind every shell or pebble or bit of sea-drift is the possibility of a young bird waiting for its next meal delivery; a feathered army of birds marching ahead of me until finally I settle myself amongst them, drenched and soggy in the tide, sand-covered and happy.

: )

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#1: Common or Forster's? I'm thinking Common, but would welcome hints!

#2: Young Least Tern, begging (and squealing, almost!)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bad bird photo of the week

(mostly in focus, tho!)

Monday, July 19, 2010


It's hard to appreciate in this photo, but when the sun hits it just right...

: )

So long as it gets me to work and back I'm happy, but a new car is kind of an occasion...

and this one makes me laugh when I see it...


and it reminds me not to take myself too seriously...


I christened it properly this evening with a trip to the beach and a gallon of sand.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

What I'm craving

change * sun-streaked hair * a warm Jersey tomato * beach, beach, beach * a Lensbaby * pure silliness * a sundress occasion * a picnic in the shade * easy laughter * floating docks * a good nap * daring in the face of reality * courage for a new plan * strength to say what i want, need and must have *grace enough to accept the fallout * a bubble bath * beach plum jelly * Luka kisses * a thunderstorm * black raspberry ice cream * blackberry pearl (please someone talk me out of buying a purplish car!!) * room in your sunshine * a book to get lost in * camel pose * honesty * ice-cold strawberries

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Blue hydrangea with blurry kingbird

As you can see, all this time away from the blog has not improved my bird photography skills one bit.


I love having kingbirds around; they're among my favorite summer birds. A pair has nested in the neighborhood the past two years and I waste a lot of time just imagining explanations for their funny personality quirks...

I knew their babies had fledged this past weekend based solely on the increased frenzy in their parent's shrill, chattering cries.

I was hopeful that there'd be a snapshot like last year's, but no.

One of the parents, scaring up bugs in the hydrangea off the porch, was my best chance at a snapshot and I missed it. Darn misbehaving camera.