Bird Photography: Let’s Face It, I’m Addicted

I went on a bird watching excursion this morning through my local Audubon society. For those of you not familiar, the Audubon Society is a group of people dedicated to the conservation of birds and other wildlife. There are over 500 local chapters working to preserve their area’s natural beauty.

I’ve always loved birds but I am an amateur bird watcher. I would definitely be considered a novice when it comes to identifying wild birds in my local area. I am working on improving my knowledge of the various species by appearance and by sound. Binoculars and additional field guides should help me expand my knowledge. And, of course, I really really want a better zoom lens for my Nikon D40 camera but that may have to wait for later considering the cost of such things. /mourn

I had a lot of fun though, and learned a lot from our guide. There was about ten of us and we spent about two and a half hours walking through the local park. I really enjoyed the experience. Getting up early on a Saturday morning was a bit rough though. Pretty sure I was a walking zombie for the first 40 minutes or so. And I took a LOT of pictures. ūüôā I really do need a better zoom lens though – dang birdies won’t get close enough for me to get a nice detail shot.

Samples of some of the pictures from the walk:

 

Soundtrack Of My Life

Have you ever had a moment in time where you absolutely must listen to a song? And not only do you have to listen to said song but you must listen to it over and over and over again until you can hear it playing in your head? Well I just had another one of those moments. I can’t really predict when it will happen or what kind of song will inspire this in me. Sometimes it is a rock song. Other times it is a favorite oldies song that for some reason is resonating particularly strong with me at the moment. A lot of the time I feel like my mood drives the song choice which makes sense to me. Sad people gravitate to music that validates their mood in some way. Either that or the music is supposed to be a vaccine for whatever is ailing them. Angry people want something that helps convey at outward expression of their rage and might even help exorcise the demon(s). Happy people….well happy people listen to a lot of weird shit sometimes. I guess when you are happy anything goes which can make for a very eclectic playlist. Part of the charm of an eclectic playlist¬†is the diversity of music though. I know that¬†in my music collection¬†I have everything from classical to oldies to rock to irish folk to pop to house music. The areas of music that have the least representation in what I own are rap and country but even then I do have a few examples of each.

The song of the day for this particular repeat session was Die Trying by Art of Dying. This song was featured on itunes as a free single to promote the band a while ago. Since rock as a broad genre of music is one of my favorites (and thus most of what comprises my collection of music) I downloaded the song. I do believe I listened to this song 10 times just on the way home from work and while I was attempting to do dishes. I hate doing dishes. A good soundtrack helps make the tedium bareable.

If you were creating the soundtrack for your own life what would you choose? Would the songs on it represent the culmination of your experiences? Would the songs represent key moments in your life that define who you are? Would the song collection just be whatever was the coolest shit you could think of to throw together? I have pondered these questions often. I think I like the idea of songs that represent periods of time in my life. The collection would have to be a two disc set though so I could fit all of my fav songs on there.

For those that are interested:

Goldfish Crackers are Very Tasty and Apparently Very Pretty

First goldfish blooms of the season! My Goldfish Plant (which is still unnamed) has produced the first blossom of the season. The blossom really just looks like someone glued a goldfish cracker to the vine which I find hilariously awesome. Frankly I am amazed that I haven’t killed this plant yet. I adopted Unnamed from a friend who was moving to Alaska of all places and didn’t want to deal with the plant on the three day drive up there. Yes, they drove omg.

Any ideas on what I should name Unnamed? Nothing seems to fit that I am thinking of.

Milk Shouldn’t Be Chunky, Should It?

I realized today that I have a real problem finishing a half-gallon of milk before it goes bad. As I was emptying the chunky remains of the milk into my sink I realized that this is indicative of a couple of things. First would be how wasteful the whole situation was. I think the amount of milk that got tossed today was maybe two cups worth. That’s a lot of milk I could have used for other things including my own consumption either in recipes or just as a nice, cool, refreshing beverage. Which brings me to my second realization: I drink way too much soda. WAY too much soda. If I can’t finish off a half-gallon of milk before it goes bad but I can successfully finish a twelve pack of Diet Coke in a week something is out of whack.

I love Diet Coke. I find it refreshing. I find it wonderfully carbonated. I find its caffeine content to be extremely helpful in keeping migraines at bay. I find it extremely helpful in keeping me not faceplanting into my keyboard at work and falling asleep only to awaken with a serious case of keyboard-face. But somehow soda has encompassed my beverage consumption to the point where I cannot successfully drink an entire half-gallon before chunks begin to congregate in it. This concerns me.

Realistically caffeine will always have a place in my life because it is one of the few things that can help stem the tide of a full-blown migraine. What caffeine shouldn’t be is the primary beverage I reach for whenever I am feeling thirsty. Caffeine overall but soda in particular since I seem to be consuming an insane amount of it. I’ve decided I will need to scale back how much soda I am drinking and if at all possible eliminate it from my daily routine. I have gone through this process before so I know I can do it. Apparently I have a weak will though because I always seem to get back into the soda groove. Usually it starts with a week of migraines. For me, migraines can start with any number of triggers (e.g. stress, lack of sleep, smoke, chemical smells, and others). But if I have a bad week, it becomes very easy to sink back into that pattern of a soda here, a soda there. I think a good way to start will be to stop buying it. Not having soda in the house will greatly increase the chances of me successfully kicking the caffeine habit.

Sorry Diet Coke. Time for you and I to take a break. It’s not you – it’s me.