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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Catching Up

Long time no blog... One of the things about being "off" for the summer is that I get time to do stuff I normally don't during the school year. Some of it is fun, like the 3 days I spent backpacking in my breeding bird atlas block since my last post. Some is more mundane but important, like painting the front porch railings and fixing the back patio. That involved concrete demolition, hauling in road base and sand, and placing about 1000 lbs of paver bricks. I'm sore. The family hit the road for a wedding, and I've been busy with researching, organizing, and submitting pics for a few book projects. In other words, no problem with boredom around here, but I haven't had much blog fodder of late, either.

That changed this week when within a day of each other, I got my latest
Birding and WildBird magazines. Flipping through Birding, I was pleasantly surprised to see my amiga Amy Hooper's portrait and accompanying interview in Noah Strycker's column. Amy edits WildBird and writes the WildBird On The Fly blog. Then I realized that my mug was in the issue too- but not as big as Amy's!! Lori Fujimoto, ABA's education manager, acknowledged the judges for the ABA's Young Birder of the Year contest (I've judged the photo module for the last several years) and slipped in our pics. I didn't know that was coming- what of a fun surprise!

Well, the pleasant surprises kept coming when I saw that another birding amiga of mine had a big article in WildBird. Sharon Stiteler, AKA the Bird Chick, wrote about birding in the technological age- check it out if you can! And I snuck a few pics into this issue, too- thanks, Amy!

I did actually go birding the other day- my dad & I went up to Allenspark (in the foothills west of Boulder, Colorado) for a few hours of hummingbird immersion. The Fawnbrook Inn there is famous for its rosy-finches in the winter, but they put out a big hummingbird feeder array and get a resulting swarm of birds- mostly Broad-tails but a smattering of Calliopes and Rufous Hummingbirds swing by on their way south, too. I'll bet they've had a mega hummer or two (Magnificent &/or Blue-throated come to mind)- the place doesn't get birded much in the summer and one could easily visit for days undetected in the ruck. Anyway, it clouded up and even rained on us some, which didn't bother the hummers any but I had to switch to using a flash. You can really see the different photographic qualities of using natural light (the female Broad-tailed) vs. the speedlight (male Broad-tailed and Rufous.) It gives some pretty dramatic results, though, really jazzing up those iridescent feathers.

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