Friday, July 11, 2008

Life is Good

There are times when I feel absolutely blessed. While an unscrupulous contractor took me for a ride, sued me for work he never did and won his lying butt off and then garnished my wages (ah, the justice system in rural America!) and now is getting 25% of my income right off the top (as prices rise exponentially); and while my son seems to have wondered-off in his quest for independence and apparently shuns contact with all those who have been working with him and I’ve not seen nor heard from him in nearly five years now; and as I turn sixty years old and watch as my body tires more easily and arthritis slowly works on the knuckles of my fingers; and even as the stock market crashes and I continue to loose my retirement income that already was reduced by 2/3s in the last ‘adjustment’…I still regularly find how lucky I am to have the life I live.

As you all probably know, I’m a ‘new birder’; someone always interested in anything in the natural world, but newly interested in finding, identifying, feeding and encouraging birds in my world. I enjoy photography and would love to have the equipment to better spot and shoot (digitally) birds I see even just in my own yard. The equipment I own is just not up to the job. However, recently a friend moved and sold almost everything he owned before beginning his new adventure…and essentially gave me ($15) an awesome pair of binoculars! I’m fairly sure this is a pretty good pair and what a difference they make; I finally understand the concept of ‘gathering light’. Not only are these very much stronger (10x50), but they are just generally more robust and even have attached lens-covers, a plus in my world where I’ve lost covers for the other little pair I own, and they’re made of some plastic/rubber material which seems to be much more able to endure to hard use outdoors. And…I CAN SEE BIRDS!!! See what I mean about feeling blessed?

AND (the best part)…I received a call early this morning from an old friend who used to work with my son, who tells me someone has seen him lately! Oh my, if only kids understood ‘phoning home’ occasionally is not a sissy thing to do; moms just wanna know their children are still kicking! Yes, I know that would gall him no end to hear me say it; but it doesn’t matter how old he gets, he’s always going to be my boy. [sigh] Anyway, I consider that telephone call an early birthday present!

Top all that with spying a little flycatcher in my yard this morning, a rarity, I think…and watching a couple of Robbins with a fledgling fluttering and begging for food and the world seems pretty good to me. Yup, blessed! Life is good.

Edited to add: About that Flycatcher, it was quite small…about the same size as a Pine Siskin if I remember correctly (quite a bit smaller than the Say’s Phoebe I saw the other day), and was all-over pale-gray with little to no baring on the wings and nowhere near as yellow as a Cordilleran seems to be. For that reason, I’m guessing it was either a Dusky Flycatcher, a Gray Flycatcher or…as my friend Bosque Bill has said; it could be a Western Wood-Pewee…of the pale variation.


Bosque Bill said...

Ask that flycatcher to kindly sing you a song so you can learn his story. That may be the only way you'll know who it really is.

Ah, great attitude, Beverly! Congratulations on keeping the sunny side up.

My day got a little sunshine early (about 11pm last night) by way of a visit, with vocal accompaniment, from a Burrowing Owl outside my bedroom window. Then today that brown truck dropped off the copy of the brand-new Smithsonian Field Guide to Birds that I won (hurray!) in the contest Charlie had on the 10000 Birds blog.

Beverly said...

What a good idea! While the fun little book I got with all the recorded birdsongs ("Bird Songs: 250 North American Birds in Song" by Beletsky and Dunn) doesn't have a 'comparative analysis' of flycatcher songs, I could just go to our favorite place, Cornell, and listen there! Then, should my bird sing me a song, I might recognize it…and the bird. Heh, heh, heh.

Thanks for your vote of confidence… and Congratulations on your trophy! Sweet!!! I was tickled to see Bill Schmoker (who's photos I love) is a contributor.

Sweet too about the owl…but now I’ll also have to get to Cornell to listen to what they sound like; I’ve never heard ‘em! That's what I like about the keeps on going and going and going


Bosque Bill said...

Actually, in this case the Cornell birdsong samples did not match what I was hearing. (There is variation in vocalizations as in colorations.)

Where I found the matching sounds was in the newly on-line Arizona Field Ornithologists Birdsong Library. In their intro they mention regional dialects and provide the library so Arizona birders can hear sounds representative of their state... well, works for me in NM and I bet they are close for you, too, in CO.

Beverly said...

OMG, the little owls sound so sweet! Don’t they just make ya smile? Awwwwww…

That little Pewee sure can make some noise; reminds me of something one would hear in a jungle! How different the Flycatchers sound; the Cordilleran almost sounds like a Budgie, for heaven’s sake and the Gray barely peeps. LOL

And I have a lot to learn! Thank you!