The “X” stories voting block is chugging along and nearing the halfway mark. This is the second reminder and . . .

. . . crap! Is this Super Bowl weekend? Lemme check . . . yup! That means I’m wasting my time posting this. No, wait . . . I’ll work under the assumption that football fans are not big readers during football season (and likely during the rest of the year), so they weren’t going to see this post anyway, what with cheering various criminals and thugs as if they were heroes.

But, for the reading public, no matter how you come to the stories, if you are a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge X-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Tuesday, February 16th, 2021.

So, fox . . . .

There’s a fox in our neighborhood that seems interested in approaching people, even when they are walking large dogs. I don’t know if it’s an idiot, young and immature, or all three. Two days ago, it was in my yard. I snapped a few photos (143) and recorded one video.

The “X” stories voting block went live a few days ago . . . and this is the first reminder to potential readers and voters (hence the title).

As usual, if you like a particular story, in addition to voting for it — and if you feel like it — forward it to friends and family (and also ask them to read the other stories in case they don’t agree with your opinion).

No matter how you come to the stories, if you are a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge X-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Tuesday, February 16th, 2021.

So, deer . . . .

These photos are as fresh as they could be, literally just harvested from my camera, and captured during an impromptu drive through the nearby refuge.

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

I have a feeling traffic will be heavy for this post . . . and that — having come here with different expectations — most will quickly leave.

That’s right . . . this post is about female birds. Wait, let me be clearer; non-human birds.

Click for larger view
Click for larger view

So, Project FeederWatch<<link — by The Cornell Lab of Ornithology — has been running weekly contests (and I’ve missed a number of weeks). This week, it’s “Fantastic Females; Celebrating the muted tones of female birds”. Anyone wanting to see the current submissions can click this LINK.

Now, I’m always reluctant to enter contests (although I’ve entered a few<<link — warning: there are nine pages of posts), and I’ll tell you why.

The “W” stories voting block has entered the doldrums . . . still, we got us a decent number of votes and — with nine days remaining — I’m expecting a few more votes before the round closes.

One thing I would ask of readers . . . if you like a particular story, in addition to voting for it — and if you feel like it — get friends and family to read it (and also ask them to read the others in case they don’t agree with you).

On the other hand, I get how annoying it could be, so if you don’t want to bother your friends, then don’t worry about it . . . BUT . . . if you have an enemy you wish to annoy, then sent them the voting link. If they’re not too bright, you can word it like a chain letter; you know the kind . . . “bad luck will befall your ass if you don’t read and vote and get at least ten others to also read and vote!”

No matter how you come to them, if you’re a reader of our stories and someone who votes, the writers wish to express their gratitude and appreciation. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge W-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Monday, January 25th, 2021.

So, more bird photos . . .

These are presented in chronological order and all from the end of 2018 . . . so, two from the Big Island of Hawaiʻi and two from Long Beach.

The “W” stories voting block is off and running . . . I believe this will be another block where people may find it difficult to find a favorite to vote for. And, I mean that in a good way.

One thing I would ask of readers . . . if you like a particular story, in addition to voting for it — and if you feel like it — get friends and family to read it (and also ask them to read the others in case they don’t agree with you).

Not that I had a lot of followers (finger-counters had no need for more than one hand), but I’m no longer on either Twitter or Facebook, so it would be nice if word-of-mouth played a bigger role in getting people to read and vote.

On the other hand, I get how annoying it could be, so if you don’t want to bother your friends, then don’t worry about it . . . BUT . . . if you have an enemy you wish to annoy, then sent them the voting link. If they’re not too bright, you can word it like a chain letter; you know the kind . . . “bad luck will befall your ass if you don’t read and vote and get at least ten others to also read and vote!”

No matter how you come to them, if you are a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge W-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Monday, January 25th, 2021.

So, bird photos . . . .

I’m going back to October of last year for these. A dreary but not cold day, I sat outside with a cup of coffee, a camera, a phone, and a view of foraging birds.

The name might seem odd to new subscribers, but the title will make sense to long-time subscribers because I’ve done one of these before . . . this is a post about future posts that will show past stuff.

I mentioned in the last post that I aim to change (reduce) the number of ‘reminder to vote’ posts. I also aim to reduce the number of blogs I subscribe to.  That process will be painful, but many of the blogs I’m currently following I originally did so because of something that was useful or interesting to me, and — for some blogs — that has changed to just being a habit without much benefit.

I rather follow fewer bloggers and have meaningful interaction than follow a lot of bloggers and have interactions equivalent to a nod you give a stranger as you pass them on the street.

. . . and yes, I expect I’ll lose some followers who will either be upset I unsubscribed, or will forget about me because they’ll no longer see me on their blogs. Again, meaningful engagement is the key, and even then, I want more time to do my own thing, and right now I’m keeping up with too many blogs (if I subscribe, I read the blogs), and that means I often can’t do justice to all the blogs I’m following.

. . . it’s gonna be tough, I tell you what.

Anyway, on to future past stuff . . .

So, I have a lot of photos I’d like to share. Some are new, like the above.

“What is it?” you ask.

The “V” stories voting round is really struggling to keep up with previous rounds. However, this is understandable given the time of year and all the stuff going on.    

For them who still take the time to read our stories and vote for their favorite, thank you in advance. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge V-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Tuesday, January 5, 2021.

So, on Christmas day I had the opportunity to get a few close-ups of birds I don’t see at my house.

Look to the left . . .

That is a White-breasted Nuthatch (LINK). It may not be recognizable at first glance because people are probably used to seeing it hanging head-first on the side of trees and feeders. Occasionally, even hanging upsidedown under branches.

The “V” stories voting is still stalled as people recover from their Christmas stuffing . . . and get ready for their New Year’s Eve drunken reverie. 

For them who take the time to read our stories and vote for their favorite, thank you in advance. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge V-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Tuesday, January 5, 2021.

So, I stopped my car not ten feet from this seagull, turned off the car’s engine, rolled down the window, and waited to capture a sequence of photos showing the gull launching into flight.

Below are the photos I shot as I waited for the gull to take flight. it never did, by the way, and I just got tired of waiting and left.

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 bottom-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run 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 coyote was photographed at Little Big Horn — yes, that Little Big Horn — with my Nikon D100 and Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR lens.

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/symbol at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos as this will pause the slideshow.

Nota Bene: because of the size of the originals, these cropped photos are the same size as what you will be in SmugMug. SmugMug does a better job of showing the photos, but know that you won’t get a larger version than what you see here if you click on the photos or view the gallery and chose so see them full-size.

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

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

For a SmugMug slideshow click HERE. 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 upper-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos as this will pause the slideshow.

You can also click on the individual photos and a larger (but not full-size) version will open in a new tab or window. The galleries also have the option to show the larger version.

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

So, twice now I mentioned seagull and I start out with ducks. Well, I liked how they swam away from me even though I was inside a car and about sixty yards away. But most of all, I like the wake patterns they formed. It reminded me of a flotilla of warship . . . well, feathery warships. Them beaks are deadly, don’t you know. 

This is the third day of the Alphabet Challenge “T” Stories voting round. After a very quick start, we hit dead calm. No new votes. lots of views, but those are likely people using readers and not actually reading anything.

. . . there go my hopes of a 100 votes round . . .   

If you are a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge T-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon, Chicago time, on November 27th.

As usual, let me know if something goes wrong with the voting . . . and here are a few Nikon P900 photos.

Magic Sands beach in Kona, The Big Island

Most people get a pleasant reaction from scenes like the one above. I think deep in our evolved nature, we have an affinity for water.

This is the second day of the Alphabet Challenge “T” Stories voting round. Yes, we still have days. It may seem like the world has gone bonkers, but we still have days . . . and we still have stories for them readers who, you know, like to read.

The voting has been surprisingly brisk for this early in the round, and one can only hope we’ll crack 100 votes. Wouldn’t that be something!  

If you are a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge T-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon, Chicago time, on November 27th.

As usual, let me know if something goes wrong with the voting . . . and now a preview of stuff that may — or may not — be showcased on the blog (soonish).

Vultures feasting on a deer carcass

Ain’t that the metaphor of the moment? . . . two kinds of vultures (Democrats and Republicans) feasting on a deer (the U. S. of  A.) . . . . I tell you, it ain’t looking good no matter who “wins”.