Birding

Author Poppy Z. Brite is about the same age as me and seems to be tracking well with my progression through life. On her weblog she sometimes talks about her conversion to a birdwatcher. She’s waaaay more into it than I am, as she’s willing to traipse around marshes with binoculars. I’m much more passive, but I too have developed a fascination with them as I grow older.

When I first telecommuted, I got a XMas present of a bird feeder, which gave me something interesting to watch outside my window as I worked. In practice, it didn’t end up where I could see it except from the bedroom but I was fascinated anyway. That one got torn up and did not make the trip from Evanston to here, but this year my wife got me (us, really) a badass new one, a “squirrel proof” serious joker. The perch the birds land on has a motor, and a weight sensitive switch. If something the weight of a squirrel is put on it, it spins like a mother and sends them ass over tea kettle. It must be working, because it’s been up for four weeks and I have yet to ever see a squirrel on it. Squirrels tore up the previous ones as well as scared off most of the birds, so I’m pleased with this.

It hangs in this area off the lanai, where it is near a tree and a bush, and viewable from the living room (but not from my office, again.) I’ve found that I can really get in to just sitting and watching. I even checked out birding books from the library, so I can begin to identify what I am looking at. I get excited when we get cardinals, and in the last few days we’ve had a woodpecker and mourning doves arrive. When I was 19, I doubt I would have believed the day would come when I’d be excited by a bird flying into my yard, but that day is here. Truth can indeed be stranger than fiction.

5 Replies to “Birding”

  1. Hey Dave, I started to listen to your podcast awhile back. I agree that ebooks are so much better then paper books and lighter too. I have moved from the first floor to the fourth floor to the third floor — they do get heavy. Before I heard your podcast, I enjoyed “Voices in Your Head.” Can’t wait for upcoming episodes of “Voices in Your Head.” I am a writer and poet. I have a podcast of my own over at http://robertg.blogspot.com — feel free to comment on the show, after all I am a writer and am always looking to improve my writing and shows.
    keep ’em coming,
    your podcast bard,
    Robert

  2. Hey Dave, I started to listen to your podcast awhile back. I agree that ebooks are so much better then paper books and lighter too. I have moved from the first floor to the fourth floor to the third floor — they do get heavy. Before I heard your podcast, I enjoyed “Voices in Your Head.” Can’t wait for upcoming episodes of “Voices in Your Head.” I am a writer and poet. I have a podcast of my own over at http://robertg.blogspot.com — feel free to comment on the show, after all I am a writer and am always looking to improve my writing and shows.
    keep ’em coming,
    your podcast bard,
    Robert

  3. When <EM>I</EM> was 19, I was living in the dorms at Georgia Tech, over on west campus where all of the rooms were precisely the same dimensions (11’x13′ IIRC, but it might have been 8’x11′). So you could build a “loft” structure and expect it to fit whatever room you got next year, as long as you stayed on west campus. So I built the mother of all lofts (won some campus award, actually, got shitty grades though :), and a minor part of that was that I built a little shelf to hang out the window so I could stick The Plant out there occasionally for air.

    I guess I noticed some mourning doves there one day so I bought some bird food and they LOVED that. Then one day I noticed that one had built a little nest. Now keep in mind that this nest was 24 inches away from me sitting at my desk — I mean, turn right slightly and it was Right There. At some point either I saw the eggs or I assumed they were there (I forget now) so I kept an eye on it waiting for little baby doves to appear. After weeks went by one day I realized that there were actually already a couple BIG ASS baby birds under that parent bird. She’d raised them practically to teenagers without me even noticing! A few days later they had fledged (that was cool to watch) and they were gone. At some point after that Ma Tech made me take the shelf down. I still have pictures of those birds in a shoebox somewhere.

  4. Hey Dave, you still need that tiny note near the comments compose window indicating what HTML tags are allowed …

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