Back on the Blogging Horse


Turkeys roaming the grass a few blocks from the Mall of America after a few days of laying low around Thanksgiving.

I swear, I take a few days off during Thanksgiving and I just can't get back on the blogging horse. Normally, I have a back log of stuff to write about but this week I'm a little slow. Part of it is that I'm getting a new camera (the other part is just writing deadlines). It finally arrived yesterday. Based on a friend's recommendation I got a Fuji FinePix 900 which is supposed to be very good with all I need to do is get my hands on a spotting scope... The above photo was taken with a friend's camera but I'm having fun testing out the camera on whatever is nearby:

"This place is a dump, look at all the dust under the coffee table. I don't approve."


This is The Raptor Center chicken no, just kidding. We use this bird with preschool programs. It's a bird kids can touch and still go home with all of their digits intact.

Boy, I can't wait to try this camera out at banding this Friday.


I realized I forgot a couple of gift ideas in the last post--one being the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (aka Duck Stamp). I great gift for someone you don't know what to get them--give the gift of conservation along with a pass to all National Wildlife Refuges. Also works well for coworkers, people you don't know very well but have to give a gift to anyway since it's in a good price range.

You will note I still have the stamp tag on my binos.It's not as annoying as we thought, and I think the Ross' goose adds some nice flair to them. Also, note the little rose-breasted grosbeak and the red-bellied woodpecker in back? It looks like some Target stores have brought back their accurate bird ornaments. About five years ago they had a whole bunch of birds and my in-laws bought me the whole set. And I'm not just talking cardinals and bluebirds, they had orioles, scarlet tanagers, indigo buntings, barn swallows, cedar waxwings downy woodpeckers--a really great selection of birds--a red-bellied woodpecker for cryin' out loud--are you kidding me? So, check the Christmas ornament section at Target for these birds. I think they're only $5 - $6 (I have only seen them in Target store, I did not see them available on the website).

We always try to get a live tree with a little stick on the top, and then I try to attach the downy or the red-bellied to it. In this photo, the downy woodpecker got the top spot. You can see I propped up the red-bellied and tried to hang the white-breasted nuthatch in the proper "rump up" position too. This is an old photo, our apartment walls are white instead of red. As I was digging it up, I found this photo of me with my mother-in-law:


Ah, good times. The in-laws always come up from Ohio to visit the first weekend in December and help us pick out a Christmas tree and catch up. Judy and I were putting on the lights when Non Birding Bill said, "Smile you two!" and on cue this was the pose we struck. We ended up using that as our Christmas card that year with the caption, "Sharon gets the ultimate wish this Christmas." I'm so lucky to have such an understanding mother-in-law.

I used to feel bad that they would come up the first weekend in December because that's the same weekend as the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union Paper Session but I now realize what a good thing it is. The in-laws love to visit the Mall of America and I do not. So NBB takes them to the Mall while I have to go to the paper session--whew, bullet smartly dodged.