Category Archives: Photography

Maybe Only Three

A couple of new terrordactyl pictures show that there aren’t five chicks in the nest.

I caught them shuffled over to one side this morning and there’s an unhatched egg in there, so there are no more than four chicks.

This picture shows three – but not necessarily a fourth. Their feathers are developing (although that fuzz on their heads still makes them look weird and alien) and their eyes are open, so they’re more normal looking, but this picture just shows a mass of fuzzy feathers and pink skin with a few beaks. I’ve seen three at a time being fed, and maybe kinda sorta if-ish a fourth, but nothing definitive.

Their behavior is interesting. Two seconds before I took this second picture they all had their heads popped up and beaks open above the rim of the next. Mama Finch was nowhere to be seen. I opened the patio door, took three steps to the nest, stepped up on the chair to start taking pictures – and all of them were hunkered down and quiet like tiny little non-bird-like-looking-brown lumps.

That’s what a couple hundred thousand years of evolution will do for you!

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Filed under Critters, Photography

Chow Time

It’s a weird world these days. Hours and hours and hours and hours every day living and working virtually, staring at over a half-dozen screens and six keyboards. And then for the tiny bit of permitted reality, watching baby birds get fed, shoving each other out of the way to get at Mama Finch.

Still don’t know exactly how many. This is a common scene, with the three biggest getting fed, but Mama keeps dipping her head down into the nest beyond them, so I’m thinking there are one or two down there that she’s taking care to feed as well.

They’re getting big enough to start rising up out of the nest now. They’re alien looking. Not sure their eyes are open yet.

A grandniece is asking if we’ve named them yet. I was thinking of Uno, Dos, Tres, Quatro, and Cinco, but given today’s aggressive display at dinner I think Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, and Echo might fit better.

This would be Alpha. One of them hatched first and always seems to be shoving the others around the most. I’m sure he wants to be a bald eagle when he grows up, but that’s not gonna happen. Unless maybe Mama Finch has picked up seeds from that old nuclear accident site over on the other side of the hill…

Hey! It’s 2020. Would you really be surprised at this point?

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Filed under Critters, Photography

Four Or Five

We had five eggs. Now we just have a flurry of weird little heads popping up every time Mom or Dad shows up with food.

Did they all hatch?

Maybe? Probably?

When they’re awake and up it’s because one of the adults is there, which means going and trying to take a picture will get my eyes gouged out. (I’m a woosy boy, Mama Finch is going to die defending her chicks from the perceived predator.)

When the adults are gone and I can sneak in for a quick, barely focused picture (remember, there’s not a lot of room between the top of the nest and the porch roof) the chicks (not these Chicks!) are all asleep and packed in like sardines. Four of them, or five?

At least.


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Filed under Critters, Photography

Up Or Down?

Are we looking down at the ocean from low Earth orbit or looking up toward space through Rayleigh scattered sunlight?

It’s not easy to tell. Maybe if there had been a 737 on it’s way into Burbank, or the odd hawk or seagull soaring around. Or, on the other hand, maybe a bit of solar panel or a corner of a Dragon or Soyuz for context.

The trees are a dead giveaway.

Very, very few trees growing in low Earth orbit. As a rule.

Technically I guess you can’t rule out the arrival of one of the giant tree-like bioships from some advanced civilization, but the odds aren’t in your favor on that one.

So the bad news is that I didn’t get to go drift weightless today in low Earth orbit. The good news is that it was a nice, warm, sunny day here on this patch of the planet’s surface.

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Filed under Photography, Weather

Meanwhile, In The Laundry Room

While we’ve been distracted by the mama birds and baby terrordactyls, the plant kingdom is making its move in the laundry room:

This is how Steven King novels start, right? Or John Carpenter films?

One or two tiny little tendrils and the next thing you know you’re waking up with a pod lying next to you in bed!

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Filed under Castle Willett, Photography

Mouths To Feed

Four confirmed baby terrordactyls (i.e., house finches).

There were five eggs, I’m counting four bright yellow beaks attached to strange pink & grey bodies. Not sure what happened to Little Cinco.

They haven’t opened their eyes yet, but if Mama’s not there and I even walk by on the patio I see the little heads popping up, mouths open wide.

The rest of the time they sleep, like little mutant Watchmen pets or something.

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Filed under Critters, Photography

Baby Terrordactyls

They’re here!

Mama Finch was fidgeting like crazy yesterday.

She kept digging down in the nest – something was up.

A mother’s work is never done.

Still plenty of time and energy to give me the stink eye!

Today Mama was gone most of the day, but a couple of little grey heads attached to HUGE yellow (open) beaks kept popping up.

The one in the middle was the most visible, but their sibling over on the right was also waiting more or less patiently.

MOM! Where’s lunch? And second lunch? And early dinner?

And dessert? And after dinner snack? And bedtime snack? And midnight snack?

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Filed under Critters, Photography

More Roses

It was a quiet Father’s Day. This is good.

There were calls from the kids, lots of Chiefs football repeats on TV, and a LOT of NOT thinking about work.

I hope you also were able to have some down time and relaxation. Perhaps even a touch of well-deserved sloth.

Plenty of time for stress tomorrow morning. Plenty of time next week for seeing how much the world we’re in is different from the world we WANT to be in, and seeing what we can do about rectifying that situation.


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Filed under Flowers, Photography

Mistaken Identity

I was out at the CAF hangar for a few minutes today to pick up the mail and make the bank deposit. We’re still shut down there and while there were a few dozen folks there working on planes and such, for me it’s masked up, in and out.

It’s not rocket science to figure that my political views are not widely shared in that particular segment of the population. So I was surprised when one person asked (jokingly) how I was going to make it to the Trump rally in Tulsa tonight? Was someone saving me a seat?


Then a second person said something odd, then a third, then a fourth. A fifth person finally said something about how he thought that I hated Trump, what had changed?


He pointed at the sweatshirt I was wearing.

Talk about seeing what you expect to see…

Yes, it’s bright red with white and blue letters, has sort of kind of “that” layout and font (it’s supposed to, it’s a spoof), and the most prominent word is five letters starting with “Tr” and then there’s a “u” in there somewhere.

But! HUH??!!

That first word isn’t “Trump,” it’s “Trout,” as in American League MVP Mike Trout, center fielder for my beloved Angels. And the second word, “Rendon,” is for Anthony Rendon, free agent All-Star 3rd baseman who signed with my beloved Angels over the off-season. (Which sort of assumes the existence of an “on-season,” but don’t get me started. No, really. Don’t.)

This was going to be our year to take the World Series again before the shit hit the fan and the world went into COVID-19 quarantine. My son got me this as a Christmas present when the Angels’ future for ’20 was bright and shiny.

As for Tulsa… 😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣

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Filed under CAF, CoronaVirus, LA Angels, Photography

No Context For You – June 18th

The clouds of Jupiter? The surface of Venus? A brake rotor on a ’35 Duesenberg?

Thank god for Weird Al Yankovic and Warren Zevon. That’s all I’ve got to say.

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Filed under Music, Photography