Birding is Just Plain Slow Around Here

Judging from recent posts on my site you’d probably guess that I must be spending all of my time working in the background trying to improve my web site and not getting outside in the beautiful sunshine and birding.

You’d only be partly right, though. Actually, I’ve been out birding three different times for several hours each time. I just haven’t gotten any pictures really worth sharing. I still haven’t, but I haven’t finished enough of my latest book to comment on it yet and I’m tired of looking at this white space. Locally, this is a real slow time for birding.

I can always count on the Killdeer at Belfair, though they’re always across the river and hard to get a good shot of:


Every time I’be been to Belfair I’ve seen a pair of Cedar Waxwings at the end of the bridge,

Cedar Waxwing

though I still haven’t seen the Sora and Virginia Rail that John’s photographed there consistently.

The only “special” bird I’ve seen recently is this female Black-Headed Grosbeak,

female Black-Headed Grosbeak

and she definitely didn’t want her picture taken.

Usually I’d be spending time at the Ocean shooting the fall migration, but Skye has been sick lately and I hate to leave him alone because he chews on his sore feet when left alone. The vet discovered Thursday that his thyroid isn’t functioning properly, and he’ll need to take thyroid medication for the rest of his life. Right now he’s on steroids, antibiotics, pain medication and thyroid medication and is finally showing signs of improving enough that I’m hoping to go to the beach tomorrow and, better yet, take him to Malheur next week.

Keep Those Complaints Coming

As I’ve been going back through old entries marked as “uncategorized” I’ve been amazed at how many of them are about various aspects of blogging. Now that I’m in them midst of a serious site upgrade, I remember why there are so many of them.

When you’re busy upgrading there’s no time to read a poetry book, or even a book on Crow Planet. There’s barely enough time in the day to get done what you have to get done in order to keep the site up and running.

Jean kindly left a note mentioning that my site was loading extremely slowly, something I’d noted before but felt might be influenced on my end by all the plugins that allow me to work on my page directly from the site itself, not just from the dashboard. Once I heard that, though, I had to start looking for the cause of the problem. I suspected that one particular plugin might be causing the problem because it seemed to interact with other JavaScripts that I installed before and after it. Turned out that it wasn’t the source of the problem at all, but other plugins were.

In order to figure that out I had to turn off all the plugins and then start them up one at a time to see which ones were causing the problem. As a result, I don’t think the site looks as good, but there’s not much purpose of having a good-looking site if no one wants to stop by to visit, and it’s amazing how many visits in a day are for 30 seconds are less. As a result I reverted to some of the plugins that come standard with WordPress, and I moved my slow-loading blogroll to another page.

I didn’t like the large headline at the top of the page, but I did like the banner picture. In the process of turning the text portion of the header off, I ended up also turning off the image and had a heck of a time turning it back on. In the end, I ended up reinstalling WordPress, and even that didn’t entirely solve the problem. I would love to see some improvements in the way you import your own pictures to use in the header!

I continue to plug away at categorizing old entries. I’m not going to sit at a desk all day fixing them, but I am willing to waste some time while I’m waiting for Will and Judy to make their next move in Scrabble. I’ve done it so much that I’ve got the routine down to a matter of a few seconds per entry. While categorizing early entries, I found an inordinate number of entries that had been mangled moving from Blogger to MT to WordPress. They didn’t bother me when I didn’t know they were there, but once I spotted them I felt obligated to update them.

Reading early entries suggests that I tackled these problems with much greater enthusiasm that I’m tackling this reinvention, perhaps because I got so much help from others like Jonathan and Shelley as I tackled new obstacles. Of course, I also know a lot more now than I used to know and the web itself offers help that wasn’t there before.

I’m a little amazed by the changes that have taken place since I started blogging, both good and bad changes.