Saturday, December 6, 2008

The strange life of ... me

You've had weird days, too. Don't pretend you haven't. I know you better than that.

This one just came along -- I wasn't looking for it. I promise.

I pull into this parking lot and grab my camera to put it in the trunk. I noticed a bird a 200 feet away beating as hard as it can against a stiff wind. The bird was just staying in one place -- it was making no headway. After about 3 minutes of this, it stops flapping and goes stiff in the wind. The bird put its head down for a fast dive. The dive kept him in about the same place, but closer to the ground -- he just used his kinetic energy up.

Then he rotates up into the wind and lets it lift him and move about 100 feet closer to me. He starts flapping hard again; I reach for my camera and start to try to focus. Before I get the camera ready, he gives up again and does the dive-and-rise thing again, going about 100 feet away. He continues this flapping-and-diving routine for about 10 minutes moving farther and farther from me and loosing ground to the wind all the time.

I decide I can't get the shot and head in to do my business.

When I get home, nature calls me for a quick bathroom break. At first, I didn't notice the fly. When I took strong notice of him, I realized that he had been flying into the mirror -- bumping his nose (or whatever he has). Then, it occurs to me. The fly can't understand mirrors. He sees an escape from me and keeps trying to take it. He must have tried this 10 times before he gave up. (I think flies like to refer to it as "Beating your eyes against a mirror.")

Later I realize I forgot to stop at Walmart -- off I went. As I pulled ito the parking spot, a flock of sparrows descended around and were scavenging for food. One big old black bird took up residence in the tree in those little bitty islands they have. He was brushing back any attempt at other birds coming into his kingdom. I thought I would get a shot. I pluck my camera but before I got him in focus, this red bellied woodpecker (yeah, I know, "why do they call him read-bellied?" Hey I didn't name him. But there is a red blush on his belly -- usually too faint to see.) lands on the trunk of the tree and starts making his way up. Sorry the shot is not too clear, but I had it on manual focus and this guy was in a hurry to find lunch.

Imagine, birding in a Wal-mart parking lot.

Just a strange day. Real strange. Must be the weather.

Oh, the big black bird -- he didn't mess with the woodpecker. Guess it was a strange day for him, too.

--steve buser


Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

I thought I was the only one who would forget to stop somewhere I intended!

The picture is great. Is there a full moon? I know it affects the kids at school. LOL

Snapper said...

Birding at WalMart! Who'd a thunk it? I bet we've all had crazy days like this but not everyone writes about them on the internet. Nice post Steve.

Sharon said...

An amazing set of cirmcumstances to be sure!