Archive for the ‘Pictures’ Category

Hey Folks,

Just thought I would write a blog that gives a short description of the more than fifty blogs I have written so far.  My blogs are divided into categories, so I will arrange this blog in the same way.  Note that some of my blogs fall into more than one of my categories, but they will only be chronicled once below. The blogs are listed in each category in chronological order from the oldest to the newest.

ADVENTURE:
In “The Mexico Expedition“, I tell about an expedition my father and I went on in the jungles of Mexico. In “Shrimp Boats” Although the next blog, entitled “Grand Canyon” is yet unfinished, I published it anyway and at some point will finish this massive blog about the fun-filled trip to the Grand Canyon with the family of my best friends.  Economizing Words details a four-day conference I attended on Long Island, where I began to learn techniques for teaching mobility skills to persons who are deaf-blind.

HUMOR
This category has several entries, but two are rather silly like, “Anti Aging” “Cream” which does not deserve an explanation and “Lovesick Squirrel“, which is also rather weak. I do think that my blog about “The Empty bus“, which details my most embarrassing moment is, if I do say so myself, pretty funny. In “No Virginia“, I shared one person’s(was unable to find who this piece originally came from) scientific analysis of the impossibility of the existence of Santa. In “jokes” I add a few favorite jokes I have received from hyper space over the years. In “National Bake Sale” I make my own tongue-in-cheek “modest proposal” as to how to solve our national debt crisis.

 Miscellaneous World Blogs
In “The Big Ponzi Scheme“, I explain why I think the free enterprise system is one giant Ponzi Scheme.  In “Taxes 101“, I decry America’s aversion to paying taxes.  In “Wiki leaks Realization“, I applaud how these revelations reveal just how stupid our world leaders (mostly men) are.  “Don’t ask Don’t Tell” is just one of my several blogs that attack the moronic bigoted behavior in the world.   In “The Wal-Marting of America“,  I talk about how China has adopted a similar policy of that adopted by Wal-mart to economically crush everyone but them.  In ‘A Letter to the Rich“, I send these sycophants a warning.    In The God of Abraham VS Spirituality,  I detail reasons why belief in this god,  contradicts its adherents claim to spirituality.   “Jesus“, is another of my polemics against bigotry.  In “The Age of Stupid“, I mourn the current anti-intellectual climate fostered by the right wing-nuts of the republican party.    In “Inherent Bigotry“,  I detail how I think the bigotry is inherent in the three major religions that dominate the world today — Judaism, Christianity and Islam.    In” There is a fine“,  I talk about why parents — not teachers — are the ones who are really the ones responsible for the education of their children.   In”I’m Tired of the Bleeping Censorship“, I point out how silly trying to control media language with “‘bleeping” offensive language is.   “Are the Republicans the New Sodomites?“,  is not actually one of my blogs, but was a New York Times OP:Ed in which Nicolas Kristoff, gives an amusing quiz that points out just how out of touch with reality the Christian right are.   In “Corporate Person-hood“,  I decry the supreme court’s decision that gives corporations the same rights as real people and I make an argument why they are not at all human.  in “Good People“, I give my opinion on what it takes to be a good person.   In “Not for Profits Please” I give my argument why these entities are a superior way to proceed in the future.   In “In the Tradition of Tomas de Torquemada” I decry the religious zealotry of Rick Santorum.    And finally in this category, I wrote two companion blogs,  “Racism is …“, which explains why we should stop using this archaic word and “Ethnic Bigotry is caused by?“, which details what science has discovered about the sources of bigotry.

NEWS RANTS
In “My Take on Egypt” I talk about what I think really spurred the Arab Spring.  In “McCarthyism Reincarnated“,  I make a short comment on the ravings of Ann Coulter.  In “Nuclear Lies“, I argue that no matter what we do with this form of power, it will never be safe.  In discuss the meaning of “Cults“, and in Bill Maher’s comments about conservative woman… I argue that Mr. Maher’s comments is neither a sexist nor misogynistic.  In Here’s Something I rant about the Supreme Court decisions on corporate person-hood.

PICTURES
 In “Pictures“, which is not really a blog in my list, but a menu item at the top of my blog, I display some of the favorites from the pictures I have taken.   I display some pictures of my master in “My Cat: Wheatina Turdmonky“.  Lastly in this category, I chronicle the tragedy of  “A Green Heron Saga”

WEIRD
This category had a few entries, but the others have already been mentioned in other categories, so there is only one left.  “A Mystery Noise”  Tells about an actual, very frustrating experience I had in my home one long night.

SHORT STORIES
I have two short stories of my own in this category, “Symbiosis” a completely fictional short short story about an encounter with an unusual individual and “Words in Time“, another short short of mine with time travel as its theme.  And finally in this category, I put in one that is not mine “The Story of an Hour“, by Kate Chopin.  Although only one page long,  this is one of the most powerful short stories I have ever read.

WORDS
In this final category, I offer on blog that lists some of my favorite “aphorisms” in general and then two more that deal specifically with “Death” and “Ennui”  I also include a list of “Aphorattemts” which lists some original quotes of mine.

I live in East Syracuse,  which is a village attached like a stunted conjoined twin to the northeast corner of Syracuse, New York.   My house is in the Park Hill,  which I will characterize as being a quiet and residential neighborhood.   However, less than a mile East of me is a sprawling mass of businesses that include: strip mulls, Walmart, Target, Best Buy,  health clubs and various office buildings — all non-residential property.   This mega-plex is in a low-lying area of the city built over what was previously all marshland and distributed through it in the lowest areas are year-round standing ponds — wetlands — complete with the variety of fauna and flora one would normally associate with a wetland.   The businesses in the complex are  connected by a series of winding roads on one of which I frequently ride my bike for exercise.  This road —  Towpath Road (see it at the bottom of the map above-right and satellite  blow-up below left) runs next to one of the wetland areas I mentioned.  It runs along  one whole edge of this long skinny pond separated from it by only a few feet and a standard metal barrier fence.

One day as I was riding that route, I scared up a crow-sized bird  from a tangled tree on the edge of the pond.   The tree it flew from obstructed my view of it, so I was unable to see the bird until it landed on the other side of the pond where it landed in some reeds of a kind that line all of these ponds and appeared to be watching me closely.  I could not visually identify the bird from that distance, but just happened to have my camera in my backpack and was able to get a couple of low-quality pictures with my 200 millimeter telephoto lens.   The reason for the low quality in the picture to the left is at the distance, which I estimate to be about fifty yards, it is tough to get a sharp picture without a tripod.    I only got two pictures on my first day and it wasn’t until I got home and viewed them on my computer,  that I realized it was a Green Heron.   The next day  –May 3rd, my 64th birthday in fact — I returned and using a  little stealth this time had hopes of getting better pictures.   I came by car, parking far from the road in the fitness club across the road from the pond adjacent to the tree from which the bird had originally flown.  Then, staying low I  slowly crept across the road toward the tree using the metal fence barrier to partially shield me.  Before I made it all the way to fence I got the big surprise of not one, but two of these birds flying from the tree and across the pond to light in the the very same reeds — also obscured by the tree so that I could not get a good areal photo of them.   I then climbed over that fence to have a closer look at the tree and found out why the birds were hanging out there.  Apparently they were starting a family as through a crotch in the tree, I was able to see their next, with two pale blue eggs in it.  My bird book — The National Audubon SocietyGuide to North American Birds — says that Green Heron’s nest in places such as these and usually return to the same area each year to breed after spending the winter somewhere in the Southern US.  The Audubon book says that they lay from three to six eggs, so I was wondering why just two.  Was wondering that is, until I returned the next day to find that mom had been busy — now there were four eggs.

The book says that incubation is about nineteen days and according to Wikipedia:

The clutch is usually 2-6 pale green eggs, which are laid in 2-day intervals (though the second egg may be laid up to 6 days later than the first) After the last egg has been laid, both parents incubate  for about 19–21 days until hatching, and feed the young birds.  The frequency of feedings decreases as the offspring near fledging. The young sometimes start to leave the nest at 16 days of age, but are not fully fledged and able to fend for themselves until 30–35 days old.

Over the week, I returned nearly every day I made many attempts at getting good close shots, but most of the ones I was able to get up close, you will see only afford a good view of part of one of the birds, as they were always peeking out from somewhere at me.  Anyway, here are the  rest of the picutres so far:

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One unusual aspect of these birds is that they appear to be short-necked, but are not.  You will note that in most of these pictures the birds have their long necks concealed by holding their heads down close to their bodies.  Only in that first distance photo and one later distance shot did the birds display their extended necks for me.   Note in the two pictures below: the neck is extended as one of the birds prepares to land in the reeds across the pond and afterward as he or she stands there eyeballing me.

I checked in a few days later and there were five!


I had hoped to follow and continue to photograph the Green Heron family as the eggs hatched and the young birds developed, but sadly when I returned two days after seeing the five eggs, the nest was bare — no sign of the eggs.   I did some checking to see if possibly the pair had moved their eggs to a new location, but found in my research, that Heron’s cannot do this.

There was no sign in the nest of broken or smashed eggs, that would likely be there if a raccoon, a cat or some other mammalian or avian predator was the culprit.  With no mess at the nest, I theorize that it was either a snake — I saw one rather large water snake in the pond  or a snake of the two-legged variety.

I had planned to wait to post this until after the little ones were safely out of their nest, but no point of waiting now.

What follows are pictures of my Cat “Wheatina Turdmonky”.  I had originally named her “Baraca” after our President and did not mean any disrespect in naming her this, because — sorry you republicans out there — I have great respect for him, particularly that he took on the job of trying to fix a world economy destroyed by the the Reagan spawned Neocons.   However, I changed her names when I saw smirks on the faces of some people(bigots) I mentioned the name to.

When I rescued her, she was about four months old and she is now about one year old.  I think she is a Maine Coon or a mix of Maine Coon and something else.