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From the Birders who Blog, Tweet & Chirp outing:






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It was beautiful today so I packed up the Giant Lens of Doooooom and headed out to my guaranteed green heron spot. It did not disappoint. There were at least three of them at the pond today.

Isn't he just a handsome dude?


Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

Flying Heron
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!
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It was so beautiful out today that after brunch with [livejournal.com profile] genevra & [livejournal.com profile] akdar I decided that I needed to take my gigantic lens and head out to the park. I went to the North Mississippi Regional Park.
I saw two new lifer birds!
A Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia)


And a Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)


Despite all the other cool birds (and a camera shy woodchuck!) I eventually made it down to the shore right across from the heron rookery. Tons of Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias), and there were babies!



More photos over at Flickr

I ♥ my huge lens!

My plans for tomorrow? Terminator Salvation preview screening! w00t!!
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Here are a few of the loon pics I took last weekend.





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So, did y'all miss me?
You did notice that I was gone all weekend, right? RIGHT?!?!?

Well, this last weekend was the annual "kids weekend" at my parents' cabin.

And by cabin I mean 3 bedroom, 2-story plus finished basement lake home. With no air-conditioning. Boy was that nice the year it was 150º with 300% humidity...

So, pretty good sized for a "cabin" but crowded anyway. The roll call:
HellMom (aka Kathy)
HellDad (aka Jim)
[livejournal.com profile] hellbob
[livejournal.com profile] hellziggy
[livejournal.com profile] genevra
[livejournal.com profile] akdar
[livejournal.com profile] technomonkey_m
[livejournal.com profile] gigglemonkey_b
Redneck Gun Toting Brother (aka Paul)
Redneck Gun Toting Brother's Wife (aka Jen)
Redneck Gun Toting Brother's Kid (aka X)
Redneck Cousin (aka John)
Redneck Cousin's Wife (aka Janet)
Redneck Cousin's Kid (aka S)
Redneck Cousin's Kid's Cousin (aka E)
Friend of Family [livejournal.com profile] levertwok (aka Mark)

Yes, you counted right. 16 people in a contained space for 2.5 days. But hey, no one killed anyone else. Yay.

The weather was absolutely perfect. We could not have asked for better weather. The kids were able to spend all day Saturday in their swimsuits and play in the lake a lot. It was sunny. There was a slight breeze. Definitely lovely weather.

I got a good solid tripod from rental at work on Friday so I was all set to stalk loons w/my über-lens. Took the camera on the boat twice on Saturday and got a few good loon pics. Wily little bugger was feeling very camera shy the first time. Second time there were two of them and they were staying up and not diving. Unfortunately that was just about at sunset so I was losing light fast. Still, got some good ones.

My little Monkeys are still the cutest kids ever. X is a cute kid too, but I don't see him enough for him to adore me as much as [livejournal.com profile] technomonkey_m & [livejournal.com profile] gigglemonkey_b do. All the kids were having a fabulous time catching frogs and playing in the lake. [livejournal.com profile] technomonkey_m was hooked on looking through his grandpas "bignoculars." I think he called them that because when you looked through them it made things look big. :)

[livejournal.com profile] gigglemonkey_b decided to build a house for the "dipmunk" that lived in the woodpile. HellDad had a spot where he put seed out for the chipmunks, and that is where B decided to make it a house. She took a bunch of loose stones and put them in a circle around the seed making sure to leave a gap for the door. She was so proud of the house that we didn't have the heart to tell her that the dipmunk probably wouldn't even use the door, he'd just go over the rocks.

As were were just starting to haul stuff to the car I heard a woodpecker knocking so I looked up. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker! Sweet! I'd never seen one in the wild before, just one at banding. Of course this meant I had to grab my camera with BIG lens and tripod to try for photos. I got some OK ones.

I also got everyone else's memory cards dumped onto my computer so I can compile photo discs for everyone.

But for now I am tired. I also have 2.5 days of the internets to catch up on. 'Night!
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I got my copy of City Birds, Country Birds in the mail from Adventure Publications yesterday! :)
I'm officially a published photographer! \0/
Besides my pictures there are tons of awesome pictures in it. It's also a really fun read. Birdchick's personality definitely comes through, and I know I'm going to get a ton of useful info from it.

Unfortunately Amazon doesn't show it as available yet and just has a publication date of September 2008. Borders also doesn't show it as being available, and has a release date of September 01, 2008.

Adventure Publications does have it available to order, but it is at the cover price of $14.95 rather than the $10.17 it will be from Amazon. Since I'm planning to pick up copies for me & [livejournal.com profile] hellbob's parental units, I'm going to wait until I can save a little money to get them. Heck, I may be a published photographer, but I *am* an unpaid published photographer after all!

Clicky here or on picture to get to the publisher's site!
  City Birds Country Birds
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And the answer to yesterday's poll is:

White-breasted Nuthatch!

This close-up of the little guy getting one last nibble in is cropped from one of Scott Taylor's photos.

Two of you got it right - [livejournal.com profile] genevra, who knew I was going to a birding thing, and [livejournal.com profile] kafilipi, who actually saw the Nuthatch bite me! By far the most common guess from you lot was Hellbob! LOL!

Yesterday morning I went out to Ritter Farm Park down in Lakeville because they were having a birding event. The raptor center was out there, there were stations to build your own birdhouse, and the really cool thing I went down for was Mark and Roger (aka Minnesota Birdnerd) had set up a banding station. The nets were already down when I got there but there were plenty of birds still waiting to be banded. I had met Mark & Roger several times before at Birdchick's Birds 'n Beers gatherings, and Scott Taylor who I had also met at Birds 'n Beers was there taking pictures. I also saw [livejournal.com profile] kafilipi out there. Here's another of the photos Scott took of me releasing the Nuthatch. He caught the bird right in mid wing flap, looking pretty darn cool!

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I worked a full 8+ hours today. But it felt longer because over half of those hours were spent taking stuff apart, draining chemicals, and putting stuff back together. Urgh. Something had caused one of the tanks of chemicals on one of our photo printing machines to go funky. It REEKED! Smelled like rotten eggs/sulfer. And the filter wasn't pretty either. So yeah, long day...

Late yesterday afternoon I headed on down to take pictures of the eagle's nest by the 5-8 club. Unfortunately Mike, the guy I had met when out there on Friday, was there and said that he hadn't seen the baby eaglet at all on Sunday or yesterday, so he was figuring the worst. Poor little birdie. :( So no picture with the baby, but here's a pretty good shot of one of the parents.

[livejournal.com profile] hellbob & I have started making tentative plans to invade Chicago to visit us some Nibleys. It's been waaaay to long! We'll also be traveling for a wedding this month (in WI). And Brian from Coverville planted a seed of an idea in my head about going to the New Media Expo in Las Vegas this August. He's got some hella-cool plans for show #500. Of course, if we do go to the NME, I'll have to take Stunt Double Moose, since Real Moose will be off in the Galapagos Islands!!! I do so love to travel... Why can't I be independently wealthy??

Pic spam

May. 1st, 2008 12:07 am
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Four more pictures from today:

Pic spam

Apr. 30th, 2008 11:29 pm
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Took the new lens out today.


Apr. 20th, 2008 03:24 pm
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Yay! It must be spring! I just had a pair of goldfinches on my bird feeder. :)
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Even though it was cold and dreary yesterday I felt the need to get out there and try out my new lens. I decided that it would be a god day to finally go check out a heron rookery.
I went to North Mississippi Regional Park because a) it was closer to home, and b) it's much smaller, therefore my chances of having to walk forever to see the herons were much less.
My pretty new lens? Here's an example of what it can do.

This was the whole frame in the camera:

And this is the detail I still have when I zoomed in quite a bit:

I love my new lens! (it is heavy though)
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Yay! I'm going to have 3 published photographs! Yes, only 3, and I'm not getting paid for them, but I will have a photo credit in the book and I get a free copy of it!
So when it's released you all will have to run to the store to buy a copy!

  City Birds Country Birds

City Birds Country Birds, How Anyone Can Attract Birds to their Feeder, by the Birdchick, Sharon Stiteler.
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I was up at freakin' 5:30 am yesterday to head out on a birdwatching trip in Northern Minnesota with Stan Tekiela and Sharon the BirdChick. I was actually running right on schedule until I got to Eden Prairie. Eden Prairie is an evil vortex of a black hole and it is impossible to find your way around in it! I've been to the Staring Lake Outdoor Center at least four or five times before, and I looked on the map before I left. I still got lost on my way there! Luckily Sharon called and Stan guided me in so that I could get there before Stan left without me!

Most of the ride up was spent chatting with two folks, Steve and Kathy, that I had been on trips with before, as well as Sharon & Stan. It was a really fun day, with a total of 20 different birds spotted.

The coolest thing we saw, however, was not a bird.

It was a wolf!!!
A freakin' honest-to-gosh wild wolf that crossed the road right in front of us and ran off into the woods! I didn't get a picture of him, but it was pretty darn amazing!

And now, pictures:

The first stop was a group of feeders where there were a bunch of Common Redpolls and Pine Grosbeaks gathered. There was also a Hoary Redpoll that made a brief appearance but I didn't get a picture of him.

The bigger bird here with the Redpolls is one of the female Pine Grosbeaks.

I really like the way I caught the bird in flight coming in to the feeder.

We saw a Black-backed Woodpecker and as I tried to take a picture of him on the tree trunk he took off just as I snapped the picture.

We also saw American Three-toed Woodpeckers. The red area on this tree is where the woodpecker has already picked off the bark to get at the larvae underneath.

One of the birds that I had never seen before was the adorable Gray Jay. They weren't very afraid of people, and so I was able to get pictures from pretty close up. They were very charming little guys!


Oh yeah, I forgot... I was gonna put the list of all the different birds we saw on here after all the pictures... oops!

The list:
Red-tailed Hawk (really, you can't drive 3 hours on a Minnesota highway and *not* see one!)
Bald Eagle
Pine Grosbeak
Common Redpoll
Hoary Redpoll

Northern Shrike
Black-backed Woodpecker
American Three-toed Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Gray Jay
Hawk Owl
Black-capped Chickadee
Boreal Chickadee
Ruffed Grouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch

The ones in bold are the ones I had never seen before! In fact, this was a first for Stan & Sharon because they had a bus full (12 of us, I think) and NONE of us had ever seen a Boreal Chickadee before. It was like a birding hat trick. Everything else at least one of us had seen before.
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I went on this birding trip yesterday with Stan Tekiela and BirdChick. It was a good time and I had a 300mm telephoto from work so I took a few pictures. They will be posted shortly, but first I had to take the time to LOLcat one of them:

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Pic spam!

Oct. 22nd, 2007 12:32 am
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I went on a bird watching trip yesterday up to Crex Meadows in Grantsburg, Wisconsin. Here are some of the pictures I got:

Snow Buntings
Plectrophenax nivalis

Trumpeter Swan, juveniles with adult
Cygnus buccinator

Red-tailed Hawk, juvenile
Buteo jamaicensis

Sandhill Cranes
Grus canadensis

There are more pictures of all four of these species under here. This is so not dial-up friendly it's not even funny! )
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I signed up for this:


[livejournal.com profile] lablynne is also already signed up so I'm expecting to have a fabulous time!
I'm getting a telephoto lens from work for the weekend so hopefully I'll have some great shots to share.
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I started my temp job at General Mills today. The work isn't exciting, just doing Access query stuff, but the people seem nice. The office is pretty casual because it's not on the main campus. Also, there's absolutely no issue with me listening to my iPod all day, so I will be able to stay sane (or at least as sane as is possible for me!) I don't use the internet at all for what I'm doing, and I ran to McDonalds during lunch today, so I don't know if I've got internet access at all or not. I do, however, have cell reception, so anyone who knows my cell # can get a hold of me via text messaging.

Hey, [livejournal.com profile] lucky13charm, this place is like NAMG used to be. Yup, that's right. Free tampons in the ladies room. :) Also, fancy schmancy toilets that flush by themselves and towel dispensers that you just wave your hands in front of.

And my chair is purple. I like purple.

Just the drive in makes me happier than the old job. It is sooooo wonderfully close to home. 10 minute drive, tops. Maybe 15 if I hit every light red and drove the speed limit. And when you turn into the drive for the building it winds up around a hill through woods. It's a really pretty location.

And right after work today I got to go in to school for my painting class. I'm about half done with my first project: the oh so exciting color wheel! I'm not sure if I'll post a pic when it's done or not. I think I'm gonna like painting.

Last night I had my HTML/XHTML class. Doesn't suck so far. At some point I have to figure out what I want the subject of my page to be. We decide what we want to do it on and as the semester goes on and we learn new things each week, we build on what we've gotten done already.

Common sense would have me redoing Rick's sister & her husband's business site. But... I'm already not a huge fan of web design, and frankly, the subject matter of it bores me. I think I'll just wait and apply what I learn in this class to redoing theirs afterwards.

Right now I am leaning towards the idea of doing a web page for Moose. I've got the photo gallery, but I think it would be much more fun to have a site for him. Especially now that he's going to go down to Antarctica. I can do all kinds of fun things like put a map with his travel locations marked.

I'll be dropping him in the mail shortly before flights to McMurdo resume. I saw my favoritest photoshop teacher, Will, last night and he was mightily impressed with Moose's next destination.

It's Labor Day weekend already! Eep! How'd that happen? I'm working only a half day tomorrow, cuz it's the last week of GM's summer flex hours. The only plans I've got so far for the Holiday weekend are me & [livejournal.com profile] hellbob babysitting the Monkeys on Saturday so that [livejournal.com profile] genevra & [livejournal.com profile] akdar can go see Stardust.

I'll probably also hit the zoo on Monday because that's traditionally not a busy day there. Even though it's a holiday, most people who have the day off and want to do something will either go to the State Fair or to the Renaissance Festival because they have set limited dates and the zoo is always there. Besides, Labor Day is the last day for the butterfly garden.
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A Eastern Kingbird:

Ever wonder what an 11 year old kicking ass on Guitar Hero on expert level looks like?
Looks like this:

More Monkey pictures!!!

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"What? The paparazzi is here? Wait, let me straighten my feathers!"

"OK. I'm ready for my close-up now!"

"And now I will sing for you!"

"Dude. Don't even think of getting any close-ups of me!"


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September 2010

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