Category Archives: birds

Protection

A male cardinal clinging to a window screen

For months now, this male cardinal has been terrorizing my bathroom and office windows. In the early mornings of the weekend, he’s jumping on the screen and pecking at the glass. I’ve read a bit and learned that he’s likely attacking his reflection. Setting up pictures of owls or other threats may only make him more likely to attack, they say. I’ve become a bit numb to it, but I’ve wanted to get a picture of him in action for some time. And today, I grabbed my camera just fast enough to get him. His mate is on the bird feeder collecting seeds while he protects her from…the windows.

I wonder how much of my life and the things I do really boil down to pecking at windows. How much of my fear, how many of my perceived threats, are manufactured in my own head?

The Big Blue Room

Heron on a log

The weekend was punctuated with a few nice surprises. I got an email from an old friend. We’ve corresponded since he was my student almost 15 years ago. He’s a good man and a good friend. I’ve followed his travels around the world with great interest. It’s wonderful to see someone who is smart, funny, capable, and, most importantly, a good person go out into the world to see and do big things. Getting his email on a Saturday morning was a treat.

The other notable treat was being told to toss my kayak on the Jeep and go out paddling while my wife took the kids on a hike Sunday morning. It’s rare that I do things on my own. Let’s face it, in The After Times we’re always on top of one another. Getting out on the water where it was very quiet and having no responsibilities aside from keeping myself upright was a wonderful gift.

I’m not a nature photographer (or any other kind, really) but I took a few quick pictures of a blue heron that was allowing me to get very close. It was like a segment from “Sunday Morning” with Charles Kuralt. Well, in my mind it was.

Wildlife

Three Deer.

It’s not a cabin in the woods, but now and again, we get our share of deer to add to the groundhogs, chipmunks, squirrels, and birds. It does remind me of how quiet our place is compared to where we were living. Far less urban, though not rural by any means.

Security

Squirrel Control Unit

The most critical addition to my office situation in a long time was the bird feeder that my daughter and I placed outside of my window. I can watch the comings and goings of the bluejays, cardinals, robins, goldfinches, and other sundry winged creatures that choose to visit. And they’re close enough that I can see them while wearing my “desk glasses”. This whole aging thing is a joke, by the by.

The feeder also attracted the squirrels and chipmunks. This led to me slamming on my window during conference calls to scare them off. Enter, The Cone. So far, I’ve not seen a mammal of any kind on the feeder. They’re still getting their fill of what’s knocked to the ground by the sloppier birds, so they’re not out in the cold, really. And I have seen a few different kinds of birds this week. It seems I may be in need of a field guide to keep on my desk. Being remote isn’t the worst thing in the world. The view and the coffee really are better.

I’ll be sure to keep the bird updates as a frequent part of my new blogging efforts. Certainly, there will be seasonal updates and perhaps a few infrastructure improvements.