Redpoll, with Alder Fallings, among the Easy White Highlows. As seen merrily in March, in scenic Port Credit, Ont.

I am just now remembering the redpolls among the easy white highlows, as seen in Port Credit, in early March, when snow covered everything.
I was sitting on the ground and delightedly photographing the streakier redpoll, when suddenly the paler redpoll jumped in. I had less than a second to work with, and this is what happened. It is very true that our eyes will almost always prefer to see the closer bird in focus, but the more I look at this picture, the more my eyes adjust, maybe. Perhaps this picture would be infinitely superior (or at least less bad) were the closer bird in focus, but it behooves me to share this picture with you anyhow.

And finally, another hibernal remembrance: the toothsome green-winged teal along the icy waterways.

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Normally, a cutesypie picture like this can give me some pretty bad problems, but perhaps today I am less uptight than usual? Hello!

I spend a lot of time, too much probably, looking at, and even studying, bird photographs. Other people’s, of course, and my own, of course! I’m willing to admit that this self-guided immersion, which began in 2009, provides me with daily doses of delight and dolor, served concurrently!

When I spend “too much time” among the creatures, my brain goes bonkers and all I can think about is life and death and life and death and significance and insignificance and purpose and meaning and time and love and family and life and death! But listen, I’m not stupid, I know that EVERYBODY thinks about these things, they’re thinking about these things whether they realize it or not, but usually, blessedly, it all lies below the surface, in dormancy, until intermittently it bubbles up, and each time it does, we decide whether or not we should push it back down again?
The cozy upshot: I’m happier than I used to be!

In my muckpants, shitboots, and prone along the odoriferous rockways in the sunshine, I did remark “Well just look at this dumb little stander!”
P.S. Lying face-down in front of foraging tree sparrows = cheap thrills, etc!

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Gentle squawko, seen in the “fake tundra section” of Toronto’s Old Country Spittoon.
In my books, lying face-down in one’s muckpants and shitboots along the fetid groundways is the acme of emotional excitement, etc.

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Long-Eared Owl in a strange sweetpocket, yes yes.
He was perched perhaps two feet off the ground, as is the wont of this species. Many of us saw him, and quite a few photographers ventured around the sides and front of him, so as to get a closer, or better, or different look. The human ruckus perturbed the owl, who needed to sleep. The allure of owls causes many people, photographers especially, to behave very badly indeed. I will spare you the specifics, lest I sink into vitriolic indignation. I believe myself to be “one of the good ones” but I often worry that even at the best of times I am causing undue disturbance to these creatures I care about, and that really I should focus on other things and leave them to live their lives.
THEN AGAIN, I’m too sensitive! Even my own mother thinks so! Some bird photographers are tough guys, believe it or not. They snarl and grimace, wear full-body camouflage, carry around $15,000 worth of equipment at a minimum, and throw petstore mice to raptors so as to get the killer shots they need. Grrrr, etc!

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It’s Springtime now, but in fondness I recall this tree sparrow in the snow, and also a very small stick.

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And then, the lake was full of magical problems, and the sun was very bright. When a snitcher combines these components with telephoto optics, the world loses most of its color! Or colour! But I eschew the “u” which I know annoys many of my Canadian friends?
“But you’re Canadian yourself” they tell me, which really means “Get with the program, etc!”
“Hold your horses,” I tell them, “is your so-called ‘Canadian’ spelling not merely a farrago of American and British? Am I not entitled also to pick and choose? And anyhow why is the Queen all over your currency? And furthermore, why do you say ‘in hospital’? Where is the ‘the’? Forsooth, I must move to distance myself from your monarchial trappings! But wait, there’s more: depending on my temper, I will say ‘zee’ or ‘zed’ because both are fun, and funny! I know what you’re thinking, but I am not American nor do I wish to be! But it is their rules of spelling with which I usually agree! I was a lucky Canadian boy, once upon a time, and now, as a ripened manchild, I am luckier still!”
“We stopped listening after FARRAGO,” said _______.

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My barber is very religious! He plays “The Online Bible” through his computer speakers while he cuts hair. Today we listened to chapters 9 through 14 from The Book of Proverbs. I felt that certain words were overused, and that it is usually better to be subtle when trying to make a point. People are smarter than you think, save the hammers for your carpentry, etc! Anyhow, the writer had VERY strong opinions about slutty women and how they are really, really bad, and he talked about that a lot!
Well, I’m en route to baldness anyhow, so how long can a haircut really take? And anyhow in the end my barber and I had a short conversation wherein we agreed that people make their lives too complicated, and that we are very lucky to be alive, and that although it’s better to be lucky than good, it’s best to be lucky AND good.
P.S. Non-biblical proverbs are also nice. Lefty Gomez!
P.P.S. American Tree Sparrow at blurry wingsmash along the snowy groundways!

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Each year, several species of wood warbler (lured by a sewage treatment plant’s false promises) try their best at overwintering in Oakville. The warm-water midges helped, but ultimately this Wilson’s Warbler succumbed to a winterfreeze. See him here in happier times, pulling frosty leaves along the groundways.

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Another look at the Wilson’s Warbler who feasted in the fall on the sewage treatment plant’s warm-water midges. This hapless hobey tried to make “the great push” and overwinter in Oakville but instead succumbed to a hibernal freeze. We see him here on what was probably his last day before dissolving into the vast colourless _______.

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