Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Unwedding Wednesday 12/54

Again, no wedding junk today! We are again at a lull. The happy news is that our invitation suite proofs will be done today...and since I don't anticipate any edits, I'll probably be ordering the first round of samples from, a recommended printer from Printable Press - catprint is wind-powered - how awesome is that? I have, at times, stressed about the "disposable-ness" of our wedding, i.e. so much junk is purchased and thrown away. I've tried to cut down on things that will just be thrown out but the invites were one thing I wasn't really willing to budge on, as the only way to truly cut down on trash is to send out something like an e-vite. Uh, no. At least our invites will be produced at a green facility. And given the amount of scrapbooking friends I have, probably only 50% of the invites will get trashed, 25% will actually get scrapbooked and 25% will hang around in a box for years waiting to be scrapbooked. Oh, and I will probably fall into the last category, since I have a box of stuff waiting to be scrapbooked that goes back to 2006. Yeah.

Anyways, I just wanted to quickly share some pics for any bird nerds out there :)

Last Saturday, I had the chance to see a rare bird, an Allen's Hummingbird. While this bird isn't rare in the sense that it's endangered or there's only a known population of 50 individuals or something crazy like that, it is incredibly unusual to see one in Massachusetts - it's only the second documented Allen's EVER in Mass. How it got from California/Mexico to Massachusetts is anyone's guess. Most likely a storm system picked this poor lady up, crashed into an eastern storm system that flung her into Mass. Sucks, because she must be like 'um wait. why is it so cold? agh.'

The "keepers of the feeder" have been keeping this girl in nectar since the end of October and it is a testament to their dedication that she has made it this far. They've had the Audubon Society come out to band, measure and feather type her to confirm the species too, just to make sure the find is as rare as they thought. The couple lives near our friend and wedding photographer, who mistakenly told them I was an ornithologist (LOL). They thought that an ornithologist would jump at the chance to see their bird, so they called my dad, who in turn called me. While I clarified that I was not actually an ornithologist, but just a bird enthusiast, I did say that I would absolutely jump at the chance to see her. I was instructed to call at 8am Saturday morning to confirm that the poor birdie was still alive, and when I found out that she was still around and visiting the feeder, I hopped in the car and made it to the house in record time.

She visited twice while I was there, and I was able to snap these photos (which have been cropped and sharpened in Picasa):

Allen's Hummingbird

Allen's Hummingbird

It was so glorious. The lady of the house said "stop with the camera, look through the binocs!!!" but I explained that I see better through the camera - photographing something forces me to stop and concentrate, since you can't exactly shoot telephoto on the fly (frustrating for me sometimes). I got a great glimpse of her through my doubler, but I have a love/hate relationship with that thing, especially when I need to shoot quickly, and of course the pics are totally blurred. I wish I could go over to their house again and set up a tripod and the works, but I don't want to bug the people any more than I already had, though I think they were pleased when I arrived to find that I am totally not averse to sitting still for two hours waiting for something to happen. They went about their day while I sat, camera in lap. I didn't get into it with them, but I told them that I had spent six weeks in Kenya basically doing the same thing with large mammals and that I was used to sitting or standing for hours waiting for an animal to do something. Plus my bird walks in Kenya were usually most fruitful when I sat still and let something come to me. It is possible for me to have all the patience in the world if necessary.

So you may already get the sense from this post that I am hardcore into birds, and that this sighting is pretty much the pinnacle of awesomeness for me. Srsly. I actually had a hard time having a normal day after that as I went about doing mundane things like shopping for crap at Target and cleaning. Of course, at the same time I was incredibly grateful this little hummer had not chosen our yard to stay in - I would not get ANYTHING done for the stress of it all. The home owner said she often spends hours in front of the window, waiting for the bird to arrive - this is possible because I think she's retired, but oh my God, if it were me, I'd have to work from home or cash in some sick time. I'd be worried sick! For now, I am sending the bird "stay alive" vibes; hummingbirds can live on nectar for a while as long as their diet is supplemented with small insects, but I'm afraid those may become scarce in the dead of January. I suggested breeding fruitflies and releasing them but I'm not sure how practical that may be. Apparently other vagrant hummers spending the winter in Mass have made it, but I think the other Allen's only survived til January. I am really keeping my fingers crossed for this bird. I'm asking Mother Nature to not be such a b*tch for once, to send us a mild winter and an early spring, so this bird may find her way back home....

No comments: