Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bird Brain

Thank you so much everyone for the wonderful comments you left on my last post.  It's always a little scary to say "hey world look at my dream," but you all made me feel like I can do anything!  And it's because of you all and the support of my family and some dear friends that I even entertained the notion of doing fine art photography in the first place, so thank you from the bottom of my heart!

The last couple of days I've been feeling kind of blechy.  I take several medications for my thyroid and adrenals and every so often the balance of everything gets knocked off center ever so slightly, but enough to make me feel pretty awful.  I then go have blood work done and my doctor adjusts the medications and then I'm back to feeling fit as a fiddle again.

This afternoon, after spending most of the day in sweats and not even getting a shower I decided I better drag myself outside and at least get some fresh air.  The swans were in the creek and they were actually pretty close to our property so I bundled up and headed out with camera in hand.

I quietly went around the side of our property into the woods so as not to startle the swans and make them move to the other side of the creek.  I was stealthy and I took great care in not crunching too many leaves or snapping too many sticks as I struggled through the brambles to get to the shoreline where I had a clear shot of them

It's like these birds have ESP or something and can sense me coming before I even leave the house.  As you can see by the pictures, by the time I got to a good vantage point, neatly hidden by the trees and briers they had moved off anyway!  That one swan put on quite a little show for me as I stood there patiently for the next almost 40 minutes, trying not to breath too loudly!  A little song bird was fooled and even landed about 2 feet from me, but not the swans, that one raised his wings as if he were saying nanny nanny boo boo, you'll never get a close up picture of us!

I waited a few hours and once again they moved closer to our shoreline, so I bundled myself back up, unshowered and in my lovely sweats and headed back out...I would not let them win I thought!  I'm sure my neighbor gets a big kick out of this little game I play with the wildlife around here.  I bet she thinks I'm some sort of crazy person, but she's just too polite to say so.  She probably calls her friends and family and says things like  "She's out in that darned red hat and pink scarf again...and I don't think she's had a shower either, she looks a mess!"

I wouldn't blame her, I do kind of look like a cross between a crazy person and some sort of artsy eccentric on days like today when I'm feeling under the weather.

Once again the swans thumbed their beaks at me, but thankfully a few other birds were more cooperative, like the gorgeous male cardinal in the two photos above!  He and a female cardinal happily flitted from tree to tree and were glad to get somewhat close.

Mr. Tide released the hounds a little while later and came out to see if I was a popsicle yet.  I was half frozen due to the fact that I left both socks and my gloves in the house.  When you go out to take pictures you sometimes tell yourself that you'll just be out for a few minutes, but you rarely are.  At least I rarely am!  I sometimes talk to the swans in my head and tell them that if they would just come a little closer I would share all of their majesty and beauty with all of you, but apparently they don't care too much for publicity!

Just when I was ready to throw in the towel for getting any really good bird photos, the bluebirds showed up and they were more than happy to cheer me up and give me a few good photo ops.  I love that about the bluebirds, they are always so happy and sweet looking.  They were also my mother's favorite bird so they remind me of her, which makes me glad whenever they grace us with their presence.

By this point I truly was a bit of an ice cube so Mr. Tide took over the picture taking duties and I headed back inside to fix a cup of tea.
The bluebirds were out in force and had moved over to my neighbor's yard to feast on whatever they found so appetizing in her grass.

You can see 4 of them all lined up waiting to fly down to the ground and grab a bit of dinner before heading back to their comfy nests for the night.  They are so brightly colored and when they fly you see bright flashes of blue out our windows.

This was Mr. Tide's favorite photo that he took.  It's out of focus but it shows you how cool these little birds look as they dart around our property and that of our neighbor.

And speaking of bird brains, I was in bed and watching a program last night about the intelligence levels of different animals.  It was really fascinating and further confirmed much of what I've always believed, that we are not the only intelligent animals on this planet.  The show featured how an octopus can completely change it's color, shape, and texture within seconds to mimic almost any surrounding.  They showed an octopus on a piece of coral, and you absolutely could not tell the difference between it and the coral until it moved on to mimic yet another thing on the floor of the ocean!  I knew they could change color, but I had no idea that they could change their actual shape and texture as well, it was amazing!

Before I turned it off and headed to bed they did a piece on Alex the talking African Grey Parrot.  Alex was the constant companion of a scientist who picked him randomly from a pet store to use to try and show the world that being called a bird brain was actually a compliment.  For over 30 years, Alex and Irene, the scientist worked together, sometimes up to 10 hours a day.  The bond between them was incredible and although I'm not a big fan of seeing animals used for research, clearly this scientist saw Alex as a pet and a companion who she loved, not just a research subject.  When Alex died suddenly the whole world reacted, he received an obituary which aired on ABC News.  So the next time someone calls you a bird brain, just smile and say thank you!



  1. These are all gorgeous. Seems to me all your waiting sockless and barehanded paid of big time.

  2. Kat, you really live in such a beautiful part of this planet! I love (no I mean really love) those bluebird pics!! All that waiting and freezing certainly was worth it, in my opinion! Wishing you a wonderful weekend ~ Txx

  3. Beautiful photos, Kat...and the video was precious! Hope you are feeling better soon!

  4. That happens to my hubby sometimes, hope you feel better! OMG, I'm in love with the blue bird photos! I can see cards! Have a wonderful weekend!


  5. Nice photos, Mrs Tide. I worked at Longleat House a few years ago, and was amazed to watch parrots doing genuine and complex mathematics by ringing on bells as part of the show. Alex's last words were touching too!

  6. I don't see
    bluebirds where
    we live, so what
    a lovely treat ~
    and lovely photos,
    to boot! You'll
    have to press Mr. T
    into service more
    often....Heck, pretty
    soon he'll be working
    for YOU!! Hope you
    are feeling like your
    old self again, soon.
    I've been locked in
    a sinus-headache vice
    all week ~ UGH! Glad
    it's Friday ~ enjoy...
    xx Suzanne

  7. Kat, you always post after I go to bed. I love looking at the swans and wish they would just stay still for you. I love the bird shots, too. That is so cool that the blue birds lined up like that. Hope you feel better soon.

  8. All those little bluebirds lined up on the porch railing... so sweet. I haven't noticed any bluebirds in our yard yet, but the robins have been out in full force already pecking at the front yard for worms and grubs. It's going to be a warm week-end so I'm sure a feast will be happening for them.


  9. Do you live in a bird sanctuary or "what"! Wow, to have swans, bluebirds, and cardinals at your doorstep is incredible. Your patience paid off "big time"---wonderful shots of all the birds. Glad you are feeling a little better. Take care. Mickie

  10. Hi Kat. I am sorry you have been feeling a bit off, hopefully you will back to you in no time! I love blue birds and we don't get many around my house so these pictures were a treat. (sorry about the swans, one day you will get them girl! ) Hopefully you have de-thawed by now! :) What an amazing bird Alex was. I have never seen that, even got a little choked up.

  11. Oh, goodness, I'm still crying over Alex the parrot. Wow, he really was a genius. Counting blocks, identifying objects. We have a parrot and all it really does is repeat what we say. He/She also scratched his/her neck when she wants us to scratch it. And risk getting bit!

    I love all the shots you were able to get. The bluebirds are precious!


  12. Sorry you're not feeling well, but thanks for braving the elements and taking these gorgeous photos. Mr. Tide did a mighty fine job as well!

    Alex is amazing, he must be so missed by Irene.

    As for the octopus, that I knew, they are incredible creatures. When I was in Sanibel last November I had to rescue a few babies who got caught on land with the extreme low tide. I watched one little guy as he completely curled up inside of an empty shell. Walking by, you never would have known he was there.

    Feel better quick, then catch those swans pics, lol. Next time wear socks and gloves, lol.

  13. Kat, I love all the pictures in this post. The group of bluebirds on the fence though is priceless!! I don't think I have ever seen that many together in one place. Thanks for sharing your wonderful photography with us! Have a great weekend!

  14. Oh my goodness this post was filled with such fantastic captures. We don't see the bluebirds here, they're so pretty. So sorry to hear what you have to go through every once in a while, but you definitely make the most of your day in spite of it. Oh and my heart just breaks that Alex died so young (for a parrot). He was so amazing. xo ~Lili

  15. Oh my, the bluebird photos are wonderful! My favorite photo is the picture of four on the white deck railing. Beautiful!

    Bluebirds are one of my favorites, too. We see them during the summer and I just love them!


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