The F You Bird.

I keep a little hobby nature blog.  Nothing fancy, just stuff I see around the property, etc.  It would be a much better blog if I had the funds for a better camera and the physical ability to go and take more photos.  But I don’t, so I do the best I can with what I’ve got.  😉

This winter I got terribly bored with nothing much to photograph and found myself photographing the same 4 or 5 kinds of birds over and over again.  Mostly through the window, therefore not great quality.  But it was more fun than nothing at all.

We can’t afford to buy seed often, but hubby got me a great deal at the feed store around Christmas.  And thanks to his lazy sporadic refilling of the feeder (LOL), we still have some seed left.  😉

Over the winter I asked him to start putting a couple of handfuls of seed on the old little wooden table on the deck so that I could watch and photograph the birds there.  It worked pretty good.  Well… as good as photographing birds through double paned glass can be.  🙂   I was able to get some decent photos of quite a few varieties of local birds.

But we have this one bird, a male Northern Cardinal, and I really can’t decide if he is funny or annoying.  He started out very annoying, and now I think he’s mostly funny.  Most of the time the Cardinals around here are not terribly people-friendly.  But this little fella is the opposite.  He WANTS you to look at him.

He comes to the table and chirps, LOUDLY, and repeatedly until you come and watch him.  He’ll chirp, then look for you.  Chirp, then look for you.  And when you come to the window, he looks quite pleased with himself.  He turns left, showing you his side.  He turns right, showing you his other side.  Hopping and prancing about.  He really puts on quite a show.

THEN…  he does what has earned him the nickname “The F You Bird“.
Why such a name?  Simple.  He insists that you look at him.  He hops around and insists that you bask in his beauty.  But the moment that you get your camera, he flies away!  Every. single. time.  The first 100 times I thought it was a fluke. My bad luck, etc.  But then it became obvious he is doing it on purpose.  I have no idea what is running through his little bird brain.  But he will stand there for what seems like FOREVER.  As long as you don’t have the camera. And he’ll prance and pose.  And then the second the camera is there – he looks at you as if he’s thinking “F You!” and flies away.

Of course I’m sure he’s not actually doing this for the reasons that it seems.  But it is so uncanny and has happened literally hundreds of times.  Once he did it nearly two dozen times in the course of a single day (yes I counted).  He aggravated me so much that I became determined to get a picture of what I had dubbed “The F You Bird“.   He’s been doing this for months.  And if I get so annoyed with him that I decide that I am not going to look at him, he will literally sit on that table and chirp and chirp and chirp loudly and frantically for up to 20 minutes at a time.   Until you look at him, then he poses and prances for as long as you stand there without the camera.  I have even tried walking away and walking back, and he never flies, unless I have my camera.

Of course I could simply photograph another Cardinal, as I have done many times before.  But now it’s become a thing.  I must get a decent photo of The F You Bird.

But I have to admit I have come to enjoy The F You Bird‘s antics.  My husband didn’t put any seed out on the table for probably two weeks or more and yesterday evening he finally put some seed back out there.  And tonight right before dark, I was sitting here at my desk and I hear, “Chirp!  Chirp!  Chirp!”  and I instantly recognized the odd sound of the F You Bird.  I swear he sounds like no other bird.  And I looked out the window and there he was, chirping and looking for me.  My husband was in the kitchen and I yelled, “He’s back!  He’s back!”  As I darted for my camera.

My husband said, “Who?”

I said, “The F You Bird.”

(He laughed at me, of course.)

But tonight The F You Bird let me take his photo.  Perhaps The F You Bird knew it was nearly dark and my photos would be crummy anyway.  😉  But he let me snap a picture before taking off.

I still have a goal of getting a decent photo of The F You Bird.  I’ll let you know if it happens.  But for now, the elusive F You Bird has been captured on film.  I finally have proof of his existence.  😉


Mimosa Tree

I took this photograph this week of my grandmother’s Mimosa Tree.
Each year since her passing, it has produced more lovely blooms than ever before.

It’s much nicer in full size.  But I thought I’d share it with my readers here.

The Forgotten War

Today, June 25th, 2010, is the 60th Anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War.   Yet, you see almost no media attention, remembrances, almost nothing.  So many brave souls lived and died in service to this country.

My grandfather served in WWII, the Korean War, and volunteered for Vietnam.  When they told him he was too old for Nam he did everything he could to convince them otherwise.  He was furious when they wouldn’t budge.

He is 89 years old now and still with us, Thank God.  He is the quintessential “hard-ass”.   A man with a good heart, a real tough exterior, and some nasty demons that still haunt him.  He doesn’t talk much about his time at war.  If he does, it’s typically a silly story about something that happened involving friends, or a dog.  My grandmother told me that his best friend died in his arms during the war (not sure if it was WWII or Korea) and he was never quite the same she said.

When I was a little kid I remember how Grandma wouldn’t make certain recipes because they contained rice and Grandpa wouldn’t eat rice.  I asked him why and he would say in a gruff voice, “I just don’t like it.”  I would say, “Why PawPaw, it’s just rice?”  And he would say, “I just don’t.”

Later in private, Gram told me that where PawPaw was stationed during the Korean war there were many starving children.  She said he came home from the war terribly thin.  He had given his rations away everyday to begging children.  Some were no bigger than toddlers and he would spoon feed them.  He had to be careful and sneak his food away because they weren’t supposed to give away their food.  Some superiors knew and turned a blind eye, but others would have been very upset had he gotten caught.  Not out of cruelty, but just because they didn’t want their men collapsing from lack of nutrition.  He told my grandmother that he just couldn’t eat knowing there were so many hungry children nearby.  So he continued this process of giving away his food whenever possible, and he lived on mostly rice alone.  Rice (unlike other more nutritious foods) was plentiful in the area.

My Grandpa is a very tall, big broad shouldered man.  When he returned home from Korea he was so very thin.  And he told my Grandma that he would never eat rice again.
He said, “I cannot look at rice and not think of hungry babies.”

Today he’s 89 years old and still hasn’t touched another bite of rice.

If you would like more information about our veterans and Korean children is a good place to start.

If you can find a veteran today, please take a moment and thank them for their service.

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all the daddies out there.  I hope everyone is having a nice day with their families, etc.  I have a super Dad, so I thought I’d make today’s post about him.

I was blessed by God with two really wonderful parents.  My Dad is the hardest working person I’ve ever met in my entire life.  He’s been retired a couple of years now, and he’s even the hardest working “retired” person I’ve ever met.

I’m not going to say my father & I have never butted heads.  Of course we have, especially when I was younger.  But mostly because we are both so hard-headed and stubborn.  This apple didn’t fall far from the tree.    😉

My Daddy taught me how to tie my shoes, how to drive, how to fish, how to grow a garden, and loads of other things.   But mostly he just took good care of us, and he still does.  My parents are the best grandparents ever.  I knew they would be wonderful grandparents, but it’s really wonderful to be able to see it in action.  My kids are so very close to them.  I am grateful everyday that my children are able to grow up living next door to their grandparents, just like I did as a kid.

One of the perks of Dad being retired is that I actually get to see him a lot more now.  🙂   When I was a kid he was always working so much to take care of us that he was often at work, or asleep when I was awake.  So our time together was somewhat limited by that.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Dad & I.  Neither of us are really looking our best in it.  LOL!  But it is the memory that goes along with the picture that makes it so special to me.  Each year my mom’s entire family would pile in at my other Grandparent’s house and have a Christmas get together.  Sometimes my Dad or my uncles would miss these occasionally, due to their complex work/sleep schedules.  But the family always tried to choose a day when the most people could be there.  The timing of this particular Christmas get together didn’t land well for my dad’s schedule.  Dad would be driving his tractor-trailer all night long the night before and into the morning.  So I was told we would be going without him.  I was really disappointed.  I wanted them there.  I told Mom that, but she (wisely) told me that Dad would need to rest, not be driving more.  But I (in my little kid ignorance) caught my Dad off to the side and asked him, “Daddy could you please make it to Christmas at Grams?  Pretty Please.”  I think he said something about not knowing what the roads would be like or if he’d even be back in time.  But I told him how much I wanted him to be there and that afternoon Dad rolled in.  He had made it home in time, changed clothes, and came straight to Gram’s.  He looked like a walking zombie, he was so tired.  But he made it, and he sat by me the whole time.  Just like I wanted him too.

It’s funny the things that stick out in your mind the most from your childhood.  It’s not the gifts.  I know we received lots of presents out there.  But I can’t remember a single present I got that year.  People these days seem to worry a great deal about their kids having the latest gadgets etc.  But that’s not what they will remember most.

I don’t remember any of my presents that year.  But I do remember how hard my Daddy worked, and the effort he made to be there and stay awake all day – just for me.    🙂

Ok to be fair, I do remember getting the cookie monster house shoes that year.  Only because they are in the photo.  LOL!  What’s funny about that, is that we didn’t have cable TV and I didn’t have the foggiest idea what Sesame Street was, but I liked the shoes.   Blue was always my favorite color.     🙂