Posted tagged ‘birding’

Park Adventures

August 5, 2017

Even when I had Younger Eyes, I was never particularly adventuresome.   I might ride a particularly frightening roller coaster when pressed by my friends or try white water rafting in the Colorado river.   But there was no skydiving or bungie jumping, even though there was a part of me that wondered what it would be like.   In my forties, I ran 13 marathons and participated in a dozen triathlons … I guess hanging on for the last few miles of 26.2 … or swimming in high surf half a mile off the shore at seven in the morning with hundreds of other exercise-nuts qualifies as an adventure.   But now that I’m in my seventies, my adventures are more passive … and they usually take place at Yorba Regional Park where I spend an inordinate amount of my time.  While spotting a particularly fat ground squirrel or seeing a newly hatched baby bluebird might not bring the burst of adrenaline true adventurers crave, they are exactly the what this old curmudgeon craves.   Septuagenarians need endorphins, not adrenaline.

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Serendipity Plus Patience

January 26, 2016

cameraI have always found photography an interesting and frustrating artistic medium.  After all, if I were to stop people at random, in, say, the Brea Mall, how many do you think would say, Oh, yes, I paint in oils, or Watercolor is my favorite medium.  How many would confess to loving to work in charcoals?   But almost everyone takes photographs, particularly since the advent of capable smartphone cameras.  I know quite a few people who regard themselves as photographers whose photographs, while beautiful, seem to be nothing more than snapshots taken in very beautiful places.   To me, a photo becomes art when it illuminates some familiar place or thing in a way I’d have never seen through my own eyes.  That can be a matter of composition, or lighting or even a particular moment in time that makes me say, Wow!  How did the photographer ever catch that?  Sometimes it takes serendipity, just being at the right place at the right time.  With camera in hand, of course.  But look at Thomas Mangelson’s signature photo, Catch of the Day.  Does that look like serendipity?  Yes, right place, right time plus endless patience.

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For the Birds

November 17, 2015

If you’ve been coming around Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog for a while, you know … I am very fond of birds.   There is absolutely no doubt that I inherited it from Mom, whether that was an inheritance via genes or simply watching her feed the birds in our yard for my entire childhood.  There was always a bird book near the kitchen window in her house and I have never been without a bird book since my wife, Muri, and I have had a house of our own.  I never heard my mother say this but I’m sure she’d agree have agreed with what I say: Birds are among God’s most beautiful creations.

So, it’s photo Tuesday and I thought I’d post one of my favorite bird photos.   Bird lovers have been promoting our local Yorba Regional Park as a habitat for Western Bluebirds.  As a result, anyone with a camera and some patience can get some photographs.  The best itme is the spring.  After the males put on their brightest plumage in preparation for mating, the juveniles, plain gray with the first hints of blue tinting their wings, show up, beautiful in their own way.

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Photo Tuesday

October 13, 2015

In keeping with my commitment to start blogging again, I’m going to try posting a photograph each Tuesday.   If you’ve been coming around for a while, you know that Older Eyes spends a lot of time at the park and he has his best walks with camera in hand, reminding him to be mindful.  No, it’s not a National Park or a wilderness park, and the wildlife I see on my walks rarely even draws a glance from the (mostly) dog-walkers, which is a shame.   Because there is wonder in the details of the most common creature, like this Snowy Egret I caught waiting for a meal to swim by in one of the park’s lakes.

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Did you know that the species was slaughtered for its plumes in the 19th century, but protection brought a rapid recovery of numbers, and the Snowy Egret is now more widespread and common than ever.  Widespread and common, but still beautiful.

Monday Smiles – 4/13/2015

April 13, 2015

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It’s Monday.  The Orioles are back.  I’m Smiling.

Monday Smiles – 4/6/2015

April 6, 2015

crocus-7Over the weekend, I posted a picture of a rose from our back yard on Facebook with the caption, Spring is here.  At 70, I am no longer a serious enough gardener to be considered a rose grower, but here in the SoCal climate, roses thrive as long as they get enough water.   With the drought we are enduring, that could become an issue down the road, but for now, they grace our yard without much care.  A Facebook friend, one given to leaving snide comments even as he Likes my photographs said of my rose photo, And after such a hard winter too …..   It is true that winter here in SoCal is more like spring in much of the country so it’s easy to take a rose for granted.   But even here where the winter temperatures seldom fall below fifty, there are other kinds of winter.  At seventy, it sometimes feels like the winter of life and there are of course, winters of the soul and spiritual winters.  At seventy, small miracles like the first rose in the untended garden don’t seem so small and, just as the first crocus poking its purple head through the snow can bring hope of warmer days to come, the first bright harbingers of spring can thaw a cold heart and warm a chilled spirit.

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It’s Monday.  It’s spring.  I’m smiling.

Ducks

January 31, 2015

carIt is an absolutely lovely winter morning here in Yorba Regional Park.  Here, that means sixty-four degrees and sunny with cottony clouds dotting a powder blue sky.  I arrived here at about nine a.m. today, parked in my favorite parking place in the shade of a forty-something evergreen where I can look out on the lake.  I know the age of the tree because Yorba Regional was a brand new park in the Orange County Regional Park system when we moved to Yorba Linda in 1973 and virtually all of the trees were saplings.  My wife, Muri, arrived about and hour later and we took a several mile walk in the fresh morning air.  As we were leaving the parking lot, a pair of Egyptian Geese were crossing the road with their brood of goslings, taking their sweet time as park-tame geese are inclined to do.  A van was waiting patiently to pass, so I waved my arms and scooted the gaggle along for them.  They thanked me and moved along.  As Muri and I rounded Lake Number 2 about fifteen minutes later, the same people were walking with friends in the opposite direction.  Oh, look, said the driver, laughing.  It’s the Duck Herder.  I smiled and kept my mouth shut. (more…)