Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm Thankful for You All

Thanksgiving is the appointed time for focusing on the good in our lives.
In each of our days, we can find small blessings, but too often we overlook them,
choosing instead to spend our timepaying attention to problems.
We give our energy to those who cause us trouble
instead of those who bring peace.
Starting now,
let’s be on the lookoutfor the bits of pleasure in each hour,
and appreciate the people who bring love and light
to everyone who is blessed to know them.
You are one of those people.
On Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for you.
Happy Thanksgiving!
By Joanna Fuchs
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Nicest Thing Happened Today

The nicest thing happened to me today. Art and I made a quick trip to the big grocery store to pick up a few things we needed. I was walking along when a gentleman stopped me and said he knew me. (Sound familiar Beth?
He said "You're Hasty Brook."
I got goose bumps.
He smiled and said "I'm Hap in New Hope!"
Well, I was absolutely flabbergasted! Hap in New Hope lives in my town and has commented on my blog for quite a while. I'm not the only blogger who looks forward to Hap's comments either. I have to say, Hap knows his birds. He's ALWAYS been helpful and kind in his comments here. When I've been wrong in an id he's gently suggested the correct answer. He's been generous in his help and has offered encouragement when I've figured it out on my own.
I was so happy to meet Hap, I almost hugged him!
I saw Art walking up and I couldn't wait to introduce him to Hap because Art has heard me talk about Hap in New Hope. We chatted with Hap for a few minutes and then we had to run off to pick up one of the kids. I wish we could have spoken longer.
I am so delighted and feel so lucky to have met you Hap.
I hope we can meet again in New Hope.

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.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

And There Were Birds...

I don't think I've posted any bird photos yet so I'd better get started. I'll admit that the primary focus of the weekend for me was social. But sprinkled in among the laughter and talking and eating we did see some birds. I went on two guided field trips with Kathi and we all went together on a salt marsh tour aboard a boat called the Osprey. This trip was terrific, relaxing and fun.
Laura couldn't believe I was so excited to see a Greater Black-backed Gull. Dime-a-dozen out there but a lifer for me.
Susan was thrilled to see this Peregrine Falcon munching on its lunch atop an osprey platform. We saw two more Peregrines on this boat trip.

Another lifer for me was this Brant. Brants are smaller geese with a kind of gurgling honk. It was a nice, soothing sound.

We saw both Snowy and Great Egrets. This one is a Snowy with its black bill and yellow feet.
During dinner at the C-View someone mentioned that they're really wanted to see an Oystercatcher. Beth mentioned that she saw one on the salt marsh tour and that we'd probably see one too. There were several feeding on this mud flat. Such neat little birds- and very vocal. Lifer!

Double-crested Cormorants like this one were common on the piers but I did get a decent look (but no picture) of a Great Cormorant flying over.
By the end of the weekend I had fourteen new life birds but better than that, I had some amazing new friends.