Monthly Archives: January 2016

Analog Moonshot

A SLIDE RULE

A SLIDE RULE

Document (41)

Document (42)

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Filed under Photography, Poetry, Technology, Thrift shop finds

Meaning & Existence

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Today was 50% off at local Sal Army stores. It was also my birthday. After having my right leg adjusted in the morning by my physio, I felt great! Does existence get any more meaningful than this? Suffice to say that it gets even better, because after my haul of half priced treasures I baked a pear upside down cake and filled, yes filled the frig with beer for tonight’s party. I will no doubt brag about how I found a 2016 Classic Car Calendar for 25 cents (it’s hanging on the wall now – this month features the original Corvette) in with the LP’s. The only thing to top that was two packs of Uniball pen refills, 4 in all, for 50 cents. Not to forget a classic LP on the Vocalion label; Manny Albam and his Jazz Greats, playing hits from West Side Story. The surface was very noisy but a good wet coat of record cleaner helped. Wetting the playing surface of old scratchy LP’s reduces the crackles significantly.

If you prefer birds, here are a few pics from yesterday:

And before you go – just another reminder about the free ebook giveaway! My novel is free for a couple more days. Just a few clicks away….

Above we have a Stellar’s Jay, an Angry Sparrow, a Common Merganser, and yet another Pileated Woodpecker. Just in the past few days these big Woody’s seem to have invaded the woods nearby. There were two of them on this tree.

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Free Book Today!

My novel, The Game of Hearts, is available for free downloading starting today, for the next five days.

The Game of Hearts was written on an actual typewriter!

The Game of Hearts was written on an actual typewriter!

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Filed under Books and Short Stories

Lucky Streak

Last night I won $84 on my 6/49 loto ticket. So I purchased another one. I know that statistics prove that lucky streaks are random occurrences, but maybe I’m having randomly occurring luck. It certainly seems to be that way with the birds recently. I’ve seen three bald eagles in the past five days, another one just today around noon. It seems to have taken up residence in a local tall tree.

resident eagle

resident eagle

Another bird that is quite literally trying to take up residence is a Pileated Woodpecker. I heard its tapping and then saw it low down on a rotten tree trunk, right beside the trail, excavating a huge hole. I had the camera set up at f32/400th of a second, which was a mistake, because the auto ISO function set the ISO so high the image was very noisy. I’m trying to improve my image sharpness, but this was over doing things. I also took some video of the woodpecker, but it wasn’t in focus.

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

Crossing the floating bridge I was treated to a show of herons and ducks. One heron was preening itself as several Mergansers cruised by. One Merganser thenĀ  flew right in front of me but the photo was out of focus, sadly. However, I did catch another heron as it swooped by.

heron and merganser

heron and merganser

heron in flight

heron in flight

Yesterday, close to home I spotted a Cedar Waxwing.

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Now to spread the good fortune around I will be promoting my novel The Game of Hearts, by giving away the Kindle ebook free for the next five days, starting tomorrow, January 7th.

Just go to the Kindle website listed at the top of this page and you will find it there.

postscript:

I returned to the tree 2 hours after I first saw the Pileated Woodpecker to try my luck again. This time I set the camera on a tripod and waited. Sure enough after a few minutes the woodpecker returned with a series of squawks, and began digging out the tree. It was on the opposite side of the first hole however, and the sun was right behind it. I had to move the camera into the shadow of another tree, which obstructed my view somewhat, but the results were much improved. While I was waiting for the woodpecker a wren arrived to check out the excavation.

pileated 2

too much lens flare!

pileated 3

pecking the other side of tree

wren

wren checking out the digs

 

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Winter Birds

During the last weeks we’ve had a lot of sunshine here, which makes for good lighting when it comes to photographing birds. I’m trying to be diligent and not venture out into nature sans camera with telephoto lens affixed. My reward has been a few good bird sightings. We made a special trip last week to seek birds in the farmland nearby, but had no luck. So we went down to the beach that faces east to the mainland and were treated to an excellent view of Mt. Baker in Washington.

Mt. Baker, Washington

Mt. Baker, Washington

Back at the lake we watched some ducks slip sliding around on a frozen section. Parts of the ice were so thing the ducks kept falling through, which was hilarious.

Ducks on ice

Ducks on ice

We’ve seen plenty of raptors lately, including one Red Tailed Hawk that had just captured its lunch – a rat. I only noticed the rat when I downloaded the pictures.

Red Tailed Hawk

Red Tailed Hawk

I was too busy snapping to notice the tail of the rat!

a closer view of the rat

a closer view of the rat

We were treated to a perfect view of a Bald Eagle one day last week, sitting in a tree right beside the path. It’s very rare to get so close to one of these; they usually sit at the top of much taller trees, generally evergreens, too.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

A Cooper’s Hawk showed up, too. Sometimes I have a hard time discerning the Cooper’s from the Red Tailed.

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk

More birds here, somewhat easier to identify:

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Red Wing Blackbird

Red Wing Blackbird

Glaucous Winged Gull

Glaucous Winged Gull

Spotted Towhee

Spotted Towhee

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker

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