Just a quick . . . er . . . semi-quick post about the communal bathing habits of House Sparrows. It all started in September, when House sparrows became regular visitors to the birdfeeders. They usually come in small flocks of about ten or so, but occasionally more.

They got into the habit of doing vigorous bathing, usually with multiple birds in the birdbath at the same time. Wait, let me back up a bit . . .

A quick reminder to vote for your favorite Round 6 story (if you’ve read them). The poll and links to the stories are in THIS post.

We’ve had an uptick in votes as the various factions (… two factions …) weighed in for their favorites. There are about ten days left to the deadline, and them days will go by quick (there’s a holiday in there), so if you are interested in reading the stories (and voting), I suggest proactiveness.

Today, I share a few more recently recorded videos. Again, these videos were shot with the D7500. They were shot in 4K, but I downsampled them 10 1080p for publication. The file size differential makes the choice easy . . . unless I happen to have an amazing video. These are fine as presented.

First up, the action at one of the feeders. You can see another in the background, but this is zoomed in to just one feeder of the 13 I have spread around the house. The original recording is almost five minutes, but I pared it down to a bit over 3 minutes.

We had tentatively scheduled posting the Round 6 stories (It’s A Wonderful Life) today, but that’s now likely for tomorrow evening or Monday morning. One writer is traveling, another is not ready . . . and, in a first, I’m actually done ahead of time.

I can say with confidence that very few people will like my story (even fewer than usual, if that’s even possible) . . . but you’ll have to wait until I publish it to judge for yourself.

Instead, today, I share a few recently recorded videos. Normally, I use the P900 for video recording because it’s a little easier, but these videos were shot with the D7500. They were shot in 4K, but I downsampled them for publication. I mean, if they were amazing, I probably would have posted them at 4K, but these are just casual captures.

Per the title, I’m sharing a few videos I’ve shot. I have a number of videos, but I seldom share them. In part, because they usually need editing, but also because it’s a bit of a pain to upload them.

But, when I do, I do.

So, this year (2022, for future visitors), the hummers started swarming the feeders a bit early. By mid-July, I had to add a few feeders, and now, early August, I have 13 feeders up and have gone through about twenty pounds of sugar.

The hummingbirds seem to feed in waves, but they are especially active when it’s raining (which hasn’t been all that often here in Southern Illinois).

I’ve added music to most videos, but you can lower it or mute it by clicking on the blue bars on the lower right corner (smaller bar, lower volume). Part of the reason for the music is that those feeders are near the A/C unit, and when it kicks on, it’s pretty noisy.

I’m about 20-25 feet away, but the microphone on the P900 still picks up the sound. Also, whenever it rains, the sound from the highway — about a third of a mile from the house — is louder, and the way the patio is positioned acts like an amphitheater for picking up sound.

Anyway, on with more videos . . .

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 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.

In June of 2015, we took a drive to Yellowstone, our favorite National Park. Late one evening, in poor lighting, we were lucky to watch a grizzly and her cubs foraging for food.

I first mentioned the encounter in THIS post, and at the time I said it was late, the lighting was bad, and I had to shoot at a high ISO (2500 and above). Meaning, the photos were grainy, soft, and of low quality. The photo I shared in that post was one I tweaked and worked on to “make better” and still wasn’t very good.

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 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.

Welcome to the third bird feeders bird post. This post has photos (Nikon D7500) and videos (Nikon P900) from December 16, 2021. Also, videos from the 15th.

The 16th was another warmish — if wet — day, and I sat outside for a few hours watching the wildlife. I shot 99 photos, and I managed to pare them down to 64.

Because I’m still working out the whole embedding thing, these will be loaded as I usually do, which means I’ll have galleries to help readers speed through the photos as opposed to having readers wear out the scroll wheel of their mouse. I calculated that based on the amount of storage I have left, the actual number of photos I can upload might be as many as 4,500 (depending on the sizes). That’s more than I’d estimated before, so that’s nice.

I’m also breaking with tradition and not presenting the photos in the order they were shot.

Tufted Titmouse using my Nikon D7500

Much like the last post, this is not a super-great photo of a Tufted Titmouse. What can I say? Sometimes, my luck runs out and my lack of talent shines through, even if I’m using the Nikon D7500 with the excellent 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. I could blame the poor lighting and the rain, but it’s all on me. However, I got luckier after that . . .

. . . Water Launch and Driving Mr. Bagel.

If you are new to the SDS Challenge, a little background.

Three writers will each write one story a month going down the list of deadly sins. The stories can be anywhere from 666 words to 6,666 words in length, although those numbers are not set in stone. If ambitious, the writers will provide accompanying graphics. These stories will not be anonymous because some writers may want to use the same characters for each story and write a series — or book — encompassing all seven sins. Finally, interpretation of the titular sin is up to the writer. Meaning, each ‘sin’ can take multiple forms.

Disclaimer: The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories will likely span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the PG-rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Some readers might find a few of the stories disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, and if so, stop reading and move on.

If you want to read the Seven Deadly Sins submissions for the Sin of Envy, and then vote, your gateway is THIS POST <<link. There, you’ll find links to each of the three stories and a poll for you to vote after you finish them (if you be so moved).

There will be a separate post for the photos, but for now, a quick post of the videos

I thought all the pelicans had left the area, but during a drive to Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge on October 25th, I happily saw that was not the case.

This first video is a compilation of a few clips (not in slow motion – 1080p) of Pelicans at the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge on October 25th. It shows incoming pelicans joining a group of gathered pelicans, some shoveler ducks (I think), seagulls, and the little birds flying around are Tree Swallows.

The last bit of that video shows another group of pelicans roughly 0.7 miles from where I was filming.

OK, OK, I think I’ve worked out how to fool the caca Block Editor into giving me as little trouble as possible . . . so this is not so much about using Vimeo (although I am, in fact, using Vimeo) as showcasing the Nikon D7500 timelapse feature.

For them not familiar with timelapse, let me explain. You take time, uh, you see, and, uh, you, like, lapse it.

But, how do you do that, oh mighty Timelord?

Well, Bob, you begin with a piece of time, and you slice it up. You then throw some slices away and keep others. For instance, take ten minutes . . . in ten minutes, there are about 600 seconds. What you do, you see, is keep every tenth second, and throw the rest away (or give them to someone in need; there are a lot of people claiming to have no time).

Following the difficulties of my last Vimeo videos publishing effort, I tweaked the settings on the Vimeo side of things to see if it will improve my experience here. The thing is, I’m starting with wide-open everything, and that’s not what I want.

What I want is to restrict where videos can be embedded and only visible to people with links. Unfortunately, about half the time WordPress’s Vimeo block pisses all over my efforts. So, I’m trying settings I really don’t want to see if I can cajole the caca Block Editor into playing nice.