Saturday, March 29, 2008

Shooting the Birds

Ok, so yesterday afternoon I was prowling around the yard with the camera, trying to locate an elusive cardinal which I could hear, but never see. Sneaking around the corner of the house, I suddenly spied him way up in the tip top of a big soft maple tree.

Drum roll, he very FIRST cardinal photo ever! Not the clearest shot, I know, and his crest is unfortunately covered up, but this photo is exciting to me because, like I said, I've never taken one of a cardinal before, and the fact is, we rarely see cardinals here at our farm. This one showed up on Good Friday........who knows if he'll stay around very long.

I certainly didn't have to do any sneaking around in order to snag the following photo of a common, ordinary house sparrow couple. Sorry...... the male's pose isn't the greatest, but I liked the way the female looked, so that tipped the scale in favor of posting this particular photo of the pair. We girls need a break once in while in the appearance department.

Why bother photographing sparrows? Well.....His Eye is On the Sparrow.......right? So why not have a camera eye on them, too, once in while. Its not their fault we consider them common and ordinary.

Last, but not least, below is a Baltimore oriole's nest left over from last season. When the photo was cropped and zoomed on the computer screen, the colorful threads in the nest became visible. Sometimes, when making hay bales, we use plastic baling twine that is orange or blue, and obviously, the orioles make use of those threads to weave their nests, along with cow tail hairs, and fibers from regular sisal baling twine. Quite intricate work the orioles do, lashing the threads to the tree branches, and using their own version of knitting, crocheting, or macrame`.........whatever you want to call create their sack-like nest. Fascinating!!


It was fun babysitting the two little girls yesterday. One is almost two years old, and the other is four. The four-year-old likes to play with my daughter's old Polly Pockets.......the ones that are very tiny and have correspondingly tiny houses and cars. Polly Pockets aren't made that miniscule anymore, probably to prevent the risk of children choking on them. The two-year-old opened the toy drawer and tossed everything out, and then wandered around the house finding teddy bears to hug. She acted very frightened of Miss Kitty.......running to me, pointing at the door, trying to tell me to put the cat outside.

They enjoy looking at books, too, and being read to, of course. After a lunch of mac-and-cheese, we sat on the sofa and read "Snow White", "Cinderella", and "Heidi". The younger one fell asleep right away, and I almost followed suit. Then we watched an old VHS tape, "Madeline in London". Anyone remember Madeline?........."In an old house in Paris, all covered with vines......Lived twelve little girls, in two straight lines"........or something like that. And......."To the lion in the zoo, Madeline just said 'pooh, pooh' ". Its a story that's in my memory bank from way back in childhood------my mom must have read it to me.


Its great having the girls here, but impossible to get much of anything done (like I ever do, anyway). They constantly want me with them, and if I leave their vicinity for a moment, they come looking for me right away. Ah, yes, faintly do I remember being a mother to small children, and never getting anything done but taking care of them. How well I recall looking forward to their afternoon nap time, so I could accomplish some task.......or, better yet.......take a nap, too!!!


Here's wishing a relaxing Saturday to you!!


Mary Connealy said...

We had one Madeline book and read it over and over. Twelve little girls in two straight lines.

I can't quote more than you did but I remember Madeline wasn't allowed to keep a dog and she stands up on a table and declares to the dog who is getting ousted:

I loved those.

So do you have a super zoom lens or can you get really close to the cardinal. My mom is crazy for cardinals, always trying to lure them to her bird feeder. I'm more of a Gold Finch person myself.

Jeannelle said...

Hi Mary,

We had that one Madeline book when I was a kid, too. I remember paging through it many, many times.....Ludwig Bemelmans the author, I think. Not sure if the first name is correct. Oh, yes, and didn't Madeline get appendicitis or something, in that story?

NO, I was not close to the cardinal. The camera I'm using now is a Canon PowerShot SX100 IS; I think the IS stands for Image Stabilization. It has a 10X zoom lens on it. My old camera had a 4X zoom. Someday I hope to get a SLR camera and learn to use it.

I like goldfinches, too......the state bird of Iowa, you know!!

Have a nice weekend!

Russell said...

Nice photo of your cardinal! Do you set out some sunflower seed for the cardinals? If you do, well, I can pretty much guarantee you will see them a lot!

When we lived in town we had lots of cardinals and blue jays. However, when we moved to the country - and our house is surrounded by fields not trees! - we have lots of goldfinches all summer but no cardinals! They need more trees and shrubs than what we have.

Last year I DID see a Baltimore Oriole and that was nice. My favorite bird is the Meadowlark and I love his song.

In the open country, as opposed to the words, we have lots of birds that you don't have in town or around woods.

You camera is a good one! I use a small Powershot camera and the IS feature you have on yours is really nice! My next camera will have that!

Take care.

Jeannelle said...

Hi Russell,

You mentioned the meadowlark......I've been hearing one of those, too, but he's way out in the muddy field. I wish he'd camp out on the fence by the road so I could snap his photo!

Sherry said...

Gee wiz girl, had I known you wanted cardinals, I could have sent you a few dozen. They are sometimes in groups of as many as 2 dozen around our feeder which is right outside our living room bay window. A tip since you have orioles? We by mistake froze an apple. When we discovered it in the freezer, Parker threw it in the feeder (last late spring). The birds went nuts when it defrosted and collapsed. They simply devoured it. Better than any orange for sure!

Country Girl said...

Yes, I remember the Madeline books. And reading to children after a lunch of mac & cheese would find me napping, as well.

Congrats on your first cardinal photo. I see the little buds are coming out on the trees.

Anonymous said...

Said Miss Clavell, "zomzing is not rright!"

I don't remember Madeleine from my childhood, but my daughter (13 now) loved the PBS cartoon version--very true to the books--and she has copies of them. (Miss Clavell would have had said "something" in the book, but the cartoon gives them all a great French accent.) Caitlin could recite them from memory. With the accent! :-)

I love your photos, Jeannelle. You are very talented.

Rachel Overton

Jeannelle said...

Welcome, Rachel!

Thank you for visiting and commenting. There's just something about those "Madeline" stories that makes us remember them with fondness. The style of illustrations and the rhythm of the, Madeline herself, of course! Definitely her own person, she was.

Thank you for the kind words!