In Praise of the Sky

We’ve really been enjoying living in our rental property adjacent to where our new home is being built. As I’ve written about before, we love having a back yard again! It was something our prior San Carlos home, built into a hill, didn’t have.

Today I realized it’s not just the backyard which is so wonderful. Or rather, there’s an aspect to having a backyard which isn’t part of the yard per se, but is definitely part of the experience.

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It’s Not a Pejorative

Recently my brother Art confessed to being a dinosaur because he dislikes web video snippets which would work much better as an article (I share the  same feeling).

But that got me to thinking: why is being a dinosaur a bad thing?

Sure, they’re extinct. But:

  • They ruled the Earth for hundreds of millions of years.
  • They supplanted early mammals, or at least mammal-like creatures, and kept them suppressed for eons.
  • It took a giant 10 kilometer diameter asteroid or comet impacting the Earth to knock them out.

There’s nothing shameful about being a dinosaur. Except for the being extinct part. And, hey, everything dies eventually :).

Hummingbird Photos

I’ve been having fun taking pictures of hummingbirds at our feeder.

I must admit to being surprised at how territorial these little guys are. There’s one hummer in particular who chases every other bird away from the feeder when he’s in the neighborhood.

Taking Flight

Over the last few months I’ve heard several hummingbirds use our feeder. Usually I don’t see them; all I get to experience is the sound of a giant bumblebee, because they don’t spend much time feeding.

But today I managed to watch three different hummers feeding. It was cool to see them at a standstill in mid-air with their tiny beak jammed into the feeder tube. A small bubble would drift up through the nectar reservoir and they’d be gone.

The most interesting one, though, was when I was close enough to see the action but far enough away not to hear the bass hum. The lack of sound made it all the more magical.

Maybe one of these days I’ll get the chance to photograph one of these amazing creatures refueling themselves.