Monday, April 27, 2009

Quickie in West Virginia

Hooded Warbler LIFER!!!
Well, we're here! Travel went well and I'll say, the company here is SUPERB!!
My first life warbler was this gorgeous Hooded
Warbler. Isn't he spectacular? The FLOCK has grown with the surprise arrival of Jane from Jaylynn's Window on Nature and
What a treat! You'll never find two sweeter ladies.
Blogging is an amazing way to meet folks.
Gotta run- the progam's going to start soon.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ready, Set, GO!!!

Well my bags are packed (mostly)
I'm ready to go...
What a mess! I'm not sure I can make the 50 pound weight limit on one bag and I might have to add a duffel. Thanks to the wonderful Northwest Airlines, I'm sure I'll have to pay extra no matter what I do. But you know what? I don't care because tomorrow morning at 0550 (YES that's 5:50 AM!!!) my flight takes off heading to West Virginia and the New River Birding and Nature Festival. I'm expecting to add some lifers to my Bird Blogger Life List:
Jane from Wrenaissance Reflections
Mary from Mary's View
Nina from Nature Remains
Tim from From the Faraway Nearby
Kathie from Sycamore Canyon
Kathie from Life, Birding Photos and Everything
Kathleen from A Glorious Life
Beth from My Life with Birds
Ok, I met Beth Cape May last October but she didn't have a blog then.
Other bloggers going to West Virginia and all ready on my life list are:
Susan from Susan Gets Native
Laura from Somewhere in NJ
Kathi from Katdoc's World
There are a few more bloggers who are trip leaders for the festival who will also add to my Blogger Life List:
Julie from Julie Zickefoose
Bill from Bill of the Birds
Jeff from Jeffrey A Gordon
I'll bet there will be a few new birds too! My life list stands at 201 right now and looking at what we should expect to see there during spring migration I'm pretty sure I'll be adding to that list.
So it's time to close up and weigh my bags. I'd better double check that Puddy the cat's not inside.
Wish me luck!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Testing My Net-Book

I needed to make sure I could download photos to this little travel lap top.
This is my old dog Gidget stretched out on the bed among the cords and socks and camera batteries. I'm pretty sure most every thing is ready to go but my mind won't stop spinning. It's starting to sink in that the day after tomorrow I'll be meeting many of the bloggers that I've gotten to know over the last few years, people that I all ready consider friends.
This is a really tiny, lightweight laptop. I'm hoping it'll be great for travelling, but wow- these buttons and te screen are really tiny for my old eyes!

Monday, April 20, 2009

What's New Pussycat?

Here comes another one of my disjointed, rambling posts. I started a two-week stretch of vacation from work today. This week off is to get ready for the New River Birding and Nature Festival in West Virginia. Finally, it's just around the corner and I have about a bazillion things to do. I brought my suitcase up ages ago and started piling things in and around it. The pile is now about four feet high and the suitcase is buried. Tonight I'll start making my list. A list of lists. Clothes for who knows what kind of weather, zip-lock bags full of every kind of little bottle from shampoo to soap, lotion to bug spray. One zip-lock just for a travel pharmacy! (One never knows what one might need) Rain gear including a Gortex jacket and one of those silly crumpled hats with a brim all around. Don't forget the vest with one hundred pockets so I can forget which pocket I put that thing in. My new hiking boots are pretty well broken in (bring a box of band-aids just in case). Will I have enough shirts? I hear there's a laundry there so I suppose I can stop worrying about that.
What about my gear? I've packed and re-packed my camera pack over and over. With every electronic gizmo comes a charger cord. I have cords and AC adaptors coming out of my ears. I'd pay big money for single universal cord for all of my stuff. I'll need to enter my destination into my Garmin. I fly into Charleston and then drive on to Fayetteville (I think) and I have no idea yet how long that drive is. I splurged and bought a teeny tiny new laptop to bring along. The one I have is cracked, taped and weighs a lot. The new one is not quite half the size and weighs less than two pounds. I'll need to load Picassa onto it for picture editing, add some of my favorite bookmarks and I'm good to go.
Tomorrow I need to pick up my new prescription sunglasses and grocery shop to stock up the frig and freezer for next week. I've never been away from my family for a whole week before. They're a very self-reliant group so I don't worry too much about that.
I haven't had time for much birding lately. I did stop by a local pond to get another look at the mutt duck. He wasn't around- but look!

Another mutt duck! Isn't this one pretty? She was a little bigger than the rest of the mallards. I'm assuming she's a she because there was a drake following her around constantly chasing other males away. Maybe he prefers blonds!

This is a leftover picture from the Sunday that Art and I drove to the heron rookery by the Mississippi River. Actually it's the only heron picture that I like from that day. Once I spotted the Turkey Vulture I didn't have eyes for herons any more. Speaking of Turkey Vultures, several of you have mentioned to me a link to an organization called The Turkey Vulture Society. I looked at their website about a year ago. There is some terrific information on their site and about two months ago I decided to join. I followed the directions on their site and made my membership payment on line using Paypal. I immediately received confirmation of my payment from Paypal and waited for my confirmation from the Turkey Vulture Society. Nothing came. I sent several emails and got no replies. Finally I approached Paypal and initiated a claim to get my money back. Eleven days later I got an email from Paypal stating that my money would be refunded. I'm not sure what happened to the Turkey Vulture Society, but I assume they have dissolved their organization. It's a shame. I'm especially disappointed because I really wanted to be a "card carrying member". I haven't checked but I would assume that Paypal has pulled their affiliation with them. It's still a great source of information but don't send money!

I wonder if I'll ever be able to get a good, sharp photo of a bird in flight? Maybe I'll find a willing teacher in West Virginia.
I took flowers to the cemetery today. It's been one year since my sister Phyllis died. The year of all the firsts is over and I'm hoping my heart will ache a bit less. Please do something for me friends. Tell someone you care about that you love them. Send a note, or better yet call or visit. Let them hear you say the words and listen to their voice too. We all save pictures but we can't keep voices. I miss Phyllis's voice.
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Friday, April 03, 2009

They're Here!

Art and I drove over to North Mississippi Regional Park last Sunday to check out the Heron rookery. It was a sunny but chilly day, nice for a brisk walk. We didn't get far before I spotted this guy- my FOY Turkey Vulture!! I nearly tipped down a hill trying to get a few shots as it floated overhead. Who needs herons when there's this beauty in the sky?
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Thursday, April 02, 2009