It’s been raining here lately, the perfect time to finish taking notes on Thomas Merton’s The Way of Chuang Tzu and start writing up my views, but once again real life intruded on my intellectual life. I’ve spent the last few days gathering receipts and figuring out this year’s taxes. I knew we’d owe money so I was in no rush to figure them out, but I wanted them done before they were due so that I would have time to gather any information that might be missing. No problem. I finished them in a single long day after Leslie downloaded some dividends information on the internet.
Then I set up this year’s estimated tax payments and started to sort through requests for charitable donations. I came to the conclusion that I must be crazy to try to give to so many organizations. I wish they would only send requests once a year, and only right before the annual renewal. They must have figured out if they send months early that you’ll “renew” your annual membership earlier and earlier each year. As a result, I have to look up the previous year’s donations and refuse to renew until the same time this year. What I really ought to do, of course, is to quit giving to those organizations that continually waste paper on multiple requests for donations — talk about environmentally incorrect.
Which is to say you’re stuck with photographs for a few more days. These shots were taken from a recent trip to Theler Wetlands. Since the Tree Swallows have returned I started out on the boardwalk that borders the tidelands. I didn’t see any Tree Swallows but did see these two instead. From a distance I thought they were Scrub Jays, particularly the one on the right.
The closer I got the more I was convinced that they weren’t Scrub Jays, though I wasn’t sure what they were, certainly nothing I was expecting to see.
I tried particularly hard to get a good shot of the bluer of the two, the most striking bird. But it was not to be as it seemed particularly timid, so timid that it’s impossible to suppress the grain when enlarging the picture.
It doesn’t really help much to identify a bird, though, when the light makes the same bird look quite different depending on the angle of the sun.
For some reason, though, the lighter of the two, the female, was considerably braver and allowed me to get much closer.
I doubt I could have gotten a better shot of it sitting on the railing.
After that kind of beginning I was pumped before exploring the rest of the wetlands. Although it was a beautiful day and quite enjoyable, the birding turned out to be rather disappointing, though we got a fly by of an osprey, a favorite raptor.
Luckily a single good bird is sometimes enough to make the day.