The Big Dump — a short long slow quick post

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow activates the option for a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

That grackle did something I’ve not seen other birds do — it rinsed the worm it’s holding.
Notice the meal also includes a salad portion (grass blades).

What do that title even mean? Does it have anything to do with scat? Am I resorting to fecal humor? And what’s with all them adjectives?

Whoa there, Bob! That’s a lot of questions . . . lemme ‘splain . . .

There was a period of time — simpler times when my life was not complicated by self-imposed complications — when I would post long posts containing mucho many molte photos. I remember a few that crossed the 100 photos mark.

Well, guess what? So will this . . . except, I’m trying to streamline both me posting that many photos and readers actually viewing that many photos. This means that I will make extensive use of galleries.

How is this different from what I used to do? Well, I used to post individual photos with descriptions and stuff, but . . . yes, it’s the Block Editor.

If I tried to post that many individual photos, it would have a conniption fit and barf all over my effort and my sanity.

Also, I’m trying to be mindful of people who have short attention spans. Galleries allow them to pick and choose what to see and it makes it easier for them to scan my posts without actually interacting in any meaningful way.

“But how would it work, oh wise Disperser?”

Good question, Tetrigidae. Let me show you how I plan to do it … first, I’ll post a gallery, say, of a Cardinal passing through my backyard:

Nice, no? I mean . . . nice, yes?

Anyway, now that I have the gallery, I plan to showcase one or two photos from it. For the above, it’s these two . . .

“I’m going to jump!”
“Backwards! Psych!”

I may or may not add a caption, but I did for those two. Usually, something interesting or — as in the case of these two — a poorly executed attempt at humor.

I would add captions to the gallery, but they don’t seem to work very well, are difficult to read, and it’s more of a waste of my and your time, so I probably won’t.

Now, some photos — like the first one above and this next photo — are singles … without soulmates or friends, they stand on alone, and, as is the case here, captionless. 

Sometimes, a short series of photos has a narrative. In that case, I’ll explain it before or after the gallery so that the photos make sense.

For instance, in this next sequence, a grackle perched on the unused light pole at the boundary between us and my neighbor. By the way, neither of us knows who it belongs to or where we might have a switch to turn it on . . . if it had a working light, which it don’t.

Anyway, the grackle was just sitting there, admiring my yard when one of the Purple Martins snuck up behind it and literally pushed it off the perch. Then, it flew back to the house where it looked as if one of the females congratulated it for a job well done.

See how that works? I’ve already posted over 1/8th of the photos I have, and it seems like they just flew by . . . unless you’re one of the few readers who actually looks at my photos and reads the words.

Anyway, this next series is just something I shot while it was raining.

Wait … I should explain why I call the post “The Big Dump”. It’s because I had a bunch of photos I liked and wanted to share, but some are not suited for individual posts.

And, yes, I know I could have done a single post for the Cardinal, and a single post for the Purple Martin attack, and a single post for the grackles, and so on . . . but there are so many other photos I want to process that if I did that (a post a day) I will be long dead before I get done.

Anyway, rain, raindrops, and raindrops splashing. Probably not interesting to many, and probably better if I’d have chosen just one image and really enhanced it, but irregardless (yes, that’s just to piss off grammarians), here the gallery be.

Those are probably better viewed individually and at full resolution, but the readers who regularly go to SmugMug already know that.

We’re starting to see more hummingbirds (I’ve added a few more feeders for a total of eight) and I hope to soon have more and better photos (and videos) of the little dynamos.

Meanwhile here are a few . . . first off, a single image I like, followed by a gallery with the sequence containing that image, and two relatively easy “find the hummingbird” photos.

If you scroll through the gallery, it’ll appear as if the hummingbird looks up when the top splash happens, but I imagine it more it saying “had enough rain now, thanks!”

OK, then, we’re motoring along pretty good, no? … er … I mean, OK, then, we’re motoring along pretty good, yes?

Next up, more me practicing capturing insects in flight, with a bonus of a photo of a dragonfly at rest (doesn’t it look like they are smiling?) on a crape myrtle seed from last season (my neighbor’s . . . I trim mine).

Next up, single images with captions . . .

“Where you looking at my butt?! Shame on you!”

Here comes another small gallery with “find the hummingbird” photos . . . and they are super-easy, getting you ready for later when some real challenging photos will …er…. you know, challenge you.

You practically don’t even have to open the gallery to spot it, especially the last photo!

You saw the rain splashing in the birdbath, but this next gallery is of a different kind of splashing.

For some reason, this year the House Finches are traveling in groups, and they seem to have taken a liking to our birdbaths. This next gallery is of three birds enjoying themselves. Those photos are from June, but just this week I was able to capture photos and videos of eight birds assaulting that very birdbath. I’ll be sharing those soon, but meanwhile . . .

Notice that while two continued bathing, one went over to check out the hummingbird feeders. Finches are one of the birds that try to drink the sugar solution, Cardinals and woodpeckers being the others that I’ve noticed.

This next guy is an example of what’s attacking my crepe myrtle trees and bushes, and our wisteria. We spray and treat our yard, but it’s useless unless the whole subdivision does it . . . and they don’t. For them who don’t know or recognize it, it’s a Japanese Beetle (its name is Lingo). Here’s some info on them: LINK.

They are easily captured and disposed of because they only fly away if you disturb the branch they’re on. If you’re careful, you can just pick them off the leaves and snack on them . . . I kid; just kill them.
This guy must have heard me because he gave me the finger behind his back (Pretty flexible arms, he got).
Hey! Same to you, buddy!

Next up, a doe and a fawn. Here’s the thing with those two . . . they are very skittish. How skittish? When I saw them in the back yard, I went out the front — with my camera, of course — and carefully made it to the edge of the house and peeked around the corner.

That’s all it took for the doe to bolt (and don’t ask me how she saw me all of 3 square inches of me from fifty feet away) . . . if you quickly scroll through the gallery, you can watch the action like stop-motion animation.

I had lots more photos in the series, but that’s all I processed. The doe kind of loped away — she must know that after 30 years of racquetball, my knees are shot and I can’t run worth spit — and did a nice 16-18 feet jump over the ditch after which she trotted to a stop and turned to look at me.

Not so for the fawn who — after a second or two — also took off. And not just took off . . . it ran as if the dickens was after it (and color me surprised that a deer would know anything about the dickens). And here’s the thing; I’m sure the fawn did not see me. It had a delayed reaction to the doe running off, getting all panicky.

The doe only ran across one backyard (maybe 50-60 yards), and — as mentioned — did so at a casual lope. The fawn kicked in its afterburners and went more than 300 yards before I lost sight of it.

Even the doe was confused and had that “what the hell is it doing?” look that matched my own, but eventually ran to intercept . . . except that I think the fawn must have been halfway to Albuquerque by then; good luck catching it!

Just today, I had the pleasure of observing two fawns that sojourned in my yard for a spell. Those photos and movies are coming … soon(ish).

For whatever reason, we have more Gray Catbirds hanging around . . . not that I’m complaining.

Here’s a small gallery of Gray Catbird photos, including one “find the Gray Catbird” photo.

Did you find it? Of course! It was pretty easy, after all.

But, for them who didn’t even try . . .

I mentioned it was raining . . . and I’m always surprised to see hummingbirds out in the rain, especially when it’s coming down in what looks like a deluge. I mean, as small as they are, a raindrop hitting them must be the equivalent of us being hit by a water balloon thrown by a major league pitcher.

But, what looks to us like sheets of closely spaced raindrops, probably looks a lot different to them. (The first photo is just the feeder)

It sure looks like there’s a lot of room between the drops, but it could be an optical illusion.

Here’s a gallery with more rain-related photos, including wet Robin butt (for them into that sort of thing).

Our hostas — them that haven’t been eaten by deer — are sporting flowers … the ones that the deer haven’t eaten yet.

When you look at this next gallery, pay attention to the stems neatly trimmed . . . deer do be have teeth well adapted at slicing through vegetation and they seem to like eating flowers.

The first photo I ever took of a hummer feeding on a flower — instead of a feeder — was of a Ruby throated hummer feeding on a hosta flower back in 2002 . . . a simpler time when the future didn’t look all that bright but we couldn’t imagine how bad it was going to get.

I’ve seen hummingbirds going at these flowers, but never when I had the camera on me.

Speaking of hummingbirds, they are at the stage where they guard feeders. This next guy perched atop the River Birch in the front yard . . . a vantage point that gives it a clear view of the feeder right outside my front door and the two feeders on the north side of the house.

I swear, the net sum-total of energy expended safeguarding the feeder versus actual energy derived from the feeder has got to be close to a wash, if not negative.

Guess what?

We’re already through three-fourths of the 128 photos I’m sharing! Ain’t this fun?

I’d guess that, at most, two, maybe three, people will get through all of this post. And half of them will do some scrolling in lieu of reading.

That’s fine; I know people have a life outside this blog . . . but here are the difficult “find the hummingbird” photos. I grouped them into two galleries . . . one as shot (color) and one monochrome. It’s the same photos in each gallery, and one photo in each of the galleries is “easy”.

Pick your poison . . .

For them not wanting to bother, here’s another hosta flowers photo . . .

Sometimes I sit outside with the camera ready and focused on the feeder in case a hummingbird shows up . . .

. . . and don’t I feel silly when I look up and see him sitting on the shepherd’s hook, looking at me and wondering what I’m doing . . .

I thought the hook itself would make a nice photo, what with it being shiny and sporting some water drops jewels . . .

. . . ain’t that romantic?

On a different note, I tend to keep the yard and landscaping as free of weeds as I can. Most of the effort involves me pulling weeds once they grow enough for me to grab . . . that’s how I found this . . .

It might have become a mighty oak . . . but it picked the wrong yard to try.

I’m going to finish with a gallery of Purple Martin flying (practice shots).

This is where I normally insert a gallery of all the photos . . . but I don’t think that would be a good idea in this kind of post. If you want to see all the photos sequentially in one go, try the SmugMug Gallery.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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