Monday, November 10, 2008

Falling Off the Edge of the Earth

I've been under the weather for the last few weeks. Actually I came home from Cape May feeling pretty puny and it's been up and down since then. Thursday night I went to bed, with a headache and I wioke up a little after midnight with the room spinning. Spinning HARD. Everything I looked at was rolling from top to bottom. Needless to say the nausea came in waves. The only relief I got was lying flat on my back with my eyes closed. Art had to come home from work to haul me in to the doctor. After a brief neuro exam and observation of my eyes twitching from top to bottom (nystagmus) the kindly MD told me I had BPPV. He sent me home with a prescription for meclizine and a transdermal scop patch. Finally this morning it eased off. I'm grateful to be feeling still. I would not wish that vertigo on anyone.
So- while the rest of the Cape May Flock has moved on to other post topics, I still have some photos I'd like to share. Most of the readers of this little blog know of my love for Turkey Vultures. Imagine my delight when we saw this trio of TV's hanging out in the marsh.
This isn't a terrific picture but it show the Black-crowned Night Heron that Katdoc spied in the marsh out back of our condo. Way to go Katdoc!

We saw quite a few Sanderlings scooting back and forth following the waves on the beach.

Last year when I couldn't make the trip because of my Mom's passing Mojoman offered this comment:
Maybe, next year at Cape May, you will be greeted by a most beautiful bird, unlike any you have seen before.
Well Mojoman, here's that bird. The Black Skimmer was my most wanted bird for the trip and fortunately Kathi and I found a flock of them on the beach. What a cool, cool bird. Watching them skim the surface of the waves was magic.
Skimmers in flight could not be any more graceful. At one point we were surrounded by the flock of them (with some Forster's Terns among them) balancing effortlessly on the wind. It was one of several teary moments for me. Thanks Mojoman.

I liked the black stockings on this Laughing Gull. I was able to approach quite close while he snoozed.

Another special gift bird was this Northern Mockingbird. In an email from my brother Charlie he told me that on this trip I would hear a bird singing a particularly pretty song and that it would be Mom telling me to have fun and not be sad. I haven't seen too many Mockers but the ones I have seen have had a pretty harsh sounding song but this one sang softly and beautifully. Even the field trip leader commented on the beautiful song of this Mockingbird.
Living in Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes you might think I'd be pretty comfortable with ducks but I got two new lifers in Cape May. These Northern Pintails have such long elegant necks.

These American Wigeons were lifers for me too. They have a really pretty call- not quacky.

I've seen plenty of Bald Eagles but this one was very scary. Its head was sort of dangling and cracked. Maybe it should go see Susan at Raptor.


Bird Girl said...

That vertigo is nasty stuff - my hubby, my daughter and my best friend all have bouts - it seems to act up when the seasons change (at least for them). Glad you are feeling human again!

So funny to see the vulture on the osprey platform - neat that you got to see three!

Really loved the picture of your magic, special bird predicted by Mojoman - and the mockingbird with the beautiful song - so nice!

Susan Gets Native said...

Heck yeah, send that eagle our way! We'll fix it!

Kathiesbirds said...

Lynne, I see you've discovered your award. You were an easy choice. Your blog is brilliant and so are you! So sad to hear you've had vertigo! I hope it goes away soon! I love all the photos and memories from this trip. I do so hope that someday I get to go to one of these too and meet you and the other bloggers! I love the black skimmers. I saw my first and only ones in Florida. We get the widgeons down here in the winter and they peep! peep! peep all over the ponds!

Leedra said...

Had wondered where you were. I had a spell last week with the room spinning (about 6 hours). I figured I was lucky I took the flu shot, or it would have been worse. Just hoping it doesn't come back.

I agree about the Black Skimmers. Have never seen a flock though. Got several together in June. Only saw one this time. Haven't looked to see if it was any good. If it is, I will post it for you.

Last week I saw a Turkey Vulture lower than usual, tried to get you a photo. Didn't turn out at all.

Linda in Erie said...

I'm so glad you were able to find such wonderful birds on your Cape May weekend. The Skimmer is really neat looking. Sorry to hear about the vertigo. I woke up with it one morning a few years ago. Very scary but it went away on its own and hasn't returned, thank goodness. I hope you get feeling good again. I really enjoy your photos.

Eve said...

Hi Lynne! So sorry to hear you wernt well. I hope that stays away. I love all your birds especially those Skimmers. I've never seen one! What a great trip!
Get better girl!!

Jayne said...

Oh Lynne, your poor head. So sorry to hear about the vertigo. Ugh. Hope it is much better soon.

Some really great birds you got to see!! Love that Black Skimmer!

RuthieJ said...

BPPV--that sounds awful Lynne. I hope the medicine does the trick for you!

Your pictures from Cape May are wonderful. I'm glad you had such a good time and got to see so many neat birds and share good memories of your mom. I'm sure your mom, dad & Phyllis were smiling down on you!

NatureWoman said...

I had that vertigo / room severely spinning thing a few weeks ago. It wasn't fun. Especially when standing in the shower and having everything spin around. That felt like the shower scene from Psycho without Norman and the blood.
I'm so happy you got to see the birds you wanted to, Lynne! Yay! Oh yeah, that Eagle has problems.

Ruth said...

Sorry to hear you are under the weather. Are you doing the positioning exercises? I now use a YouTube video to teach them to my patients. Most of my patients do recover nicely with a combination of treatments. Wishing you the best.

NCmountainwoman said...

I know from experience how devastating the vertigo can be, so I have great empathy for you. Wonderful post. I especially love the signs from your Mom.

Take it easy and take care of yourself.

FYI- Valium (diazepam) is a better vestibular depressant than meclizine and can be taken sublingually (especially desirable when you are vomiting). It's very useful for acute attacks associated with vomiting. You may want to talk with your doctor and keep some 2 mg tablets (one every ten minutes up to 5 tablets) handy in case you have another attack.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Really amazing photos: you have a trenchant eye for detail. The birds in flight is an interesting display of depth and gravity defying aerodynamics.

Mary said...

Dear Linne,

Boy I am glad to see a post from you! Last night I wrote on my notepad, "e-mail Linne!".

Sorry you were feeling so badly. Vertigo is awful.

Your birds are FABULOUS! Gee, I really missed a lot at Cape May. But I'm glad YOU didn't miss it. Mojoman's sentiments are sweet and very true, you know. The pretty Mockingbird song proved it.


Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Sorry to hear about your illness,hope you are well on the raod to recovery.Your pictures are magical,I can onlt imagine what it was like to be there in person.Thes Black Skimmer is certainly a beautiful bird.

Carolyn H said...


Sorry you've been under the weather. I've had that BPPV thing too--not fun in the least. i'm glad you're on the road to recovery. Lovely shots from your Cape May trip.

Carolyn H.

KGMom said...

Whoa--Lynne--glad you provided the link on BPPV becuase it sounded really close to fatal, just thoe initials. Glad it is something amendable to medicine!
And thanks for the wonderful bird pics.

Shellmo said...

Lynne - sorry to hear you were having a bout of vertigo! You beautiful photos were worth the wait!

jalynn01 said...

I'm BG's best friend with the vertigo problem. First time I got it I thought I was dying...I made my husband call an ambulance. That was 20 yrs. ago and I still get bouts of it. Season changes do seem to bring it on.

I love your pictures! The lifer ducks, which I have never seen either, the skimmer is just wonderful, and your mockingbird posing is beautiful.

Tina said...

Lynne, Great story and interesting photos. Really liked the skimmers and that's so cool that you found a mockingbird with an x-tra pretty song..sent esp to you!! Hope this finds you feeling better and thanks for your help and comments on my post today! :)

Anonymous said...

Glad your BPPV was not serious. I am also glad you managed to get these photos up. Great shots. Seems everything turned out OK.

Marsha said...

Lynne, I am so sorry to hear you were sick. BPPV sounds nasty but I am glad they are treating it for you.

The birds you shared are wonderful and how neat that you heard the mockingbird sing like your brother told you one would.

Susan Gets Native said...

Did someone say Valium? *ears perk up*

I guess that's why you didn't just sprint right onto that boat, huh Lynne?

Two things to make you smile...
Cell phones and

: )

Kallen305 said...

I love your photos. I saw my first sanderling this summer and agree that they are very cute. They have a very sweet call too.

I am another one who suffers from severe vertigo. I was on the meclizine for a while as well but don't have to take it any longer. I still get it on occasion, especially if I have a head cold and it always seems to happen when I get off of an elevator. I also can no longer go on swing sets because that really messes me up.

I hope it goes away soon like it did for me. I can be scary though.

lectric lady said...

I have a dim, but relatively recent memory, about a procedure for getting the little floating bits back into where they belong. Don't remember if this procedure specifically relates to your condition. Basically, the 'health care provider' rotates your head in a very specific way, using gravity to move the little pieces back to where they belong. Once you learn the rotational pattern, you can do it yourself.

I may have read this in Discover magazine... sounds like something they would do. Sorry I can't give you specifics, but you might be able to google it out.

lectric lady said...

I did find it! Sure beats having to use drugs!

Vital Signs One Cure for Vertigo: Playing Pinball Inside Your Head.

By manipulating your head just so, a doctor can sometimes cure chronic dizziness.
by Anna Reisman

published online September 10, 2008

lectric lady said...

Sorry, I forgot the link:

ivars krafts said...

Glad you're on your way to recovery!
Great pix!! I especially like the one of gulls in flight -- it would make a great design for a lot of stuff. Also, that's a beautiful shot of the Mockingbird!

Kyle said...


So glad to see you're feeling better. I hope the meds knock this mess out completely!

Beautiful pictures all, but I especially love the mockingbird shot. Mockingbirds are plentiful around here and I never get tired of them. I've always wondered if the quality of a mockingbird's song is relative to the birds around it being "mocked" (ie, the birds it learned its songs from). We have one mockingbird that perches above the side entrance to our office building and serenades us many mornings with glorious singing. Not much better way to start a dreary day at work than that!

In your honor, I've posted a couple of shots of a recent Turkey Vulture flyover on As the Mind Wanders.

nina said...

A mockingbird? How perfect!
A moment to remember for always.

troutbirder said...

Ouch. Hope you are feeling much better and the meds prove preventative. Your pictures of the skimmers make me think I may have to head East sometime just to see them. They are beautiful in flight.

Corey said...

Yikes, sorry to hear about the vertigo . . it's not often you wish it was "just" a migraine! Great shot of the mockingbird, he looks so tiny compared to the ones I see every day. Perhaps he's a juvie.

Anonymous said...

So glad you are over that bit of sickness. Sounds miserable.

You sure got some good photos. I agree with you about the grace of the skimmers. Didn't know you didn't mockingbirds close by. Wish I could send you ours!

dguzman said...

Oh Lynne! I'm sorry you've been ill. I hope you feel better soon.

You got a great pic of the black-crowned night heron! I didn't even try; I knew it would be a blur.

Wish we were all in Cape May again.

Kathleen said...

Hi Lynne,

I left you a comment on the previous post by mistake. Sorry. It has been that kind of day...

Hope you are feeling better.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Your variety of bird shots is incredible. Nice photography.

truewonder said...

Thank you for visiting me, and now that I am here- I will return, your photos and comments are fantastic. Am moving in spring to Maine, what better way to learn about the area than capturing the birds in friendships and've all inspired me. Thanks.
Oh, and I had the good fortune to be visited by 7 turkey vultures in early August, from the woods they came and perched upon my silo. I was amazed, in 18 years here- I had never seen so many at once. ( And what better way for our loved ones to connect with us, if no longer physically than through the birds and their melodies. Do they not show up at times when we least expect inspiration and find, in their prescence, an extra
newfound joy?) Take care-

MojoMan said...

Lynne, I'm sorry to hear you were so sick. You didn't drink the water in New Jersey, did you??

I'm moved that you remembered my comment from last year. We never know when the memory and spirit of a loved one will touch us, but how perfect that you could share a few moments with your mother and sister in such a beautiful place and among such wonderful friends.

Leedra said...

You still not feeling good?

Hap ID'd the Rusty Blackbird (not) and gave you a atta girl along with the id. Got go back and look at it.

Anonymous said...

Lynne, hope you're feeling better. I love the photo of the black skimmer - my new favorite bird.

Barbara said...

I just found your blog and am really enjoying reading it. You take absolutely beautiful photos!!!

I am sorry to hear of your mom's passing last year and that you missed Cape May. Sounds like that Black Skimmer was a wonderful gift - so glad you got to see it! Life is sure interesting that way.

Take care of yourself and hope you're feeling well and back out in the field soon!

Red said...

I'm just getting around to reading blogs from last week and noticed you weren't feeling well. I'm sorry and hope you're feeling better soon and the meds stop the vertigo! Eeks, I definitely wouldn't want it.

And don't worry about the timely nature of the posts either. It doesn't matter if you took the picture yesterday or 3 weeks ago or 3 months ago even. We'll need some great shots to get us through the winter anyway, right?

Owlman said...

Lynne hope you're feeling better. It has been a tough Fall in NJ and most people are down with some sort of virus.

Awesome pics, I especially like the Skimmers in flight - awesome!

Larry said...

Vertigo is so strange.-I had this hapen to me a few times.-The room sins so hard that everything turns black. It happened to me while I was sitting in a chair a couple of times.I dropped to my knees and held ont the chair for dear life.-It really is a scary and unpleasent experience.-Your photos are terrific! I've been thinking of switching to full sized photos.-It really does look good-of course you do have to have good photos though which I don't much of the time.

It's Time to Live... said...

Great blog and images.

kayceebeebee said...

My sister was just diagnosed with this on Monday! Isn't it weird how you never hear of something and then all of a sudden it shows up everywhere you turn?