Why I Take Photos of Old Things

gas station bw copy reduced to 831x559

You can read “Why I Take Photos of Old Things” here.


Patio Invasion

So this is somewhat a “Part II” to yesterday’s “Patio Occupado.” I thought I’d give you all an update on the status of my 3rd floor aviary.  This morning, I was in my office reading emails and drinking my morning java when I heard a familiar chirp.  I looked out of the window and there was my fine feathered friend – again, stretching out his/her neck and perusing my patio for signs of life (aka me).

I opened the window and he/she took off.  Oh well, guess I blew that intimate moment.

Later when I came back from the store, there were 3 baby birds and their mama – aka my new feathered friend perched on the railing between the third and second floors.  I walked right past them and said “hello,” and no one moved.  That’s cool, I thought.

I went back to work in my little office this time with the window open and the blinds pulled up with a clear view of my patio.  I saw my friend again.  Without even thinking about it, I went into the living room, opened the patio door and went outside closing the door behind me and the bird just stared at me, not budging.  “Hello again.”  He/she took off.

Around 4pm I looked up from my computer and heard several birds chirping only to find six babies (almost as big as the parents) sitting on my patio railing lined up and waiting to be fed by their parents one-by-one.  Each time the parents would be close-by they would all chirp with excitement, but of course, only one could be fed at a time.  I must say both parents were working overtime.  While watching the parents fly I realized that this may be the birds I’ve been calling starlings, although unbelievably in this day and age, I can’t find a good picture online of what I’m seeing in person.  The tail shape and the precision, stealthy flying skills are unmistakable though.

Now these shots quite literally suck as far as photography goes, but I had to take the pics through the screen in my office, which quite frankly could use a good scrubbing.   Now at 5:45, they have all just flown away.  It’s about the time when you go out and sit and watch all the birds around, flying around, gathering up their families and going home probably to the  trees across the  street – especially since the management here sprayed down all the nests in the breezeway with some awful but necessary bleach concoction.  If it wasn’t done occasionally, the breezeway would be full of the usual birds flying at your head as you leave and enter your apartment, protecting their nests and the tons of over-sized hornets and other various bugs (like Palmetto bugs bigger than my hand); there are far more of them than there are of us.

And now the pics:

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Someone is getting fed while the rest patiently wait for their turn.

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While five sit atop the railing, one fell to the bottom rung after being fed a little too forcefully.  Good save.

Birdy ii 4

And here are what I can only assume are the proud parents circling around the fly-in/drive-in as they get ready to drop off some fast food.

It’s been a wonderful experience getting to know my new friends.  If their parents are in need of building a new nest for them, they’ve got their work cut out because just feeding these six little ones seems to be a job in an of itself.

I’ll be out there myself shortly with a buck of water to swab the decks. My new friends are cute, but a little too messy for my taste, if you know what I mean.   And I think that they totally got my displeasure at them resting on my chair cushions.  Once I told them the chairs were off limits, they haven’t been on them since.


Patio Occupado

I was taking a break from work this afternoon and thought about sitting on the patio for a while to get some fresh air and clear my head before doing some readings this afternoon and maybe finishing up some writing assignments.  The door leading to my patio is one of those with the blinds inside the glass and I had the blinds lowered but open.  As I went for the doorknob, I noticed a bird on my patio railing, and then two.  The second didn’t stay long, but the first one seemed content where he/she was.  I started taking pictures through the blinds.  I have waited maybe three years to catch a bird on my railing and being that I call my apartment the birdhouse because of all the birds flying around, it was bound to happen soon or later.  The amazing thing is that I slowly lifted the blinds but it didn’t scare the bird.  In fact he/she watched as I raised them, and when I was done, he/she looked straight at me.  I wanted to open the door; I felt like maybe it wouldn’t fly away, but then I decided on building a little trust first.  These shots were taken through a glass door, but I wish there had been nothing between me and this curious bird.  Maybe next time.

Birdy 2Birdy 3Birdy 4

Does anyone know what kind of bird this is?  After a few reverse image searches that came up with “bird” (duh) – Thanks Google – I gave up.

That distinct white strip lipstick line is funny when viewed face-on – almost giving it a face that looks like a scowl and remarkably like a face that I viewed as familiar.  I knew a guy that always had that face on even when he was happy – he just didn’t realize it. Maybe this was him visiting from the other side.  I can’t discount it.

Antique Store Oxymoron

I think this is the first antique shop that I’ve ever seen that was an actual antique itself.   Well, maybe that’s not completely true because I’ve been in some old antique shops, but somehow when they’re open for business and still full of … antiques, they don’t seem quite as old as this antique.  I have a reverence for days gone by and a complete fascination with things that were, especially nowadays with so much construction going on.  It seems that what was yesterday could be something completely different tomorrow.  I guess that’s why whenever I see a quaint old antique building I just have to shoot it.  Still, there are three signs on this building that indicate that they’re still in business.  As one of the signs puts it, “by chance or by appointment.”  I love that.  It’s such a laid back southern way of saying, “call me, and if I’m not out on the lake or busy barbecuing, maybe we can do business.”

Church Street Antiques 1Church Street Antiques 2

Welcome to the Jungle

The Stray Cat Strut

While cleaning up this weekend, I came across some SD cards from various cameras I’ve used over the years along with two throw-away cameras that are full of pictures of … (I’ve yet to find out).  It’s kind of fun looking through them, not knowing what treasures you might find. This particular picture is of my former neighbor in New Jersey.  I have never been much of a cat person, mostly because I’m allergic to them, but this little wild kitty held his own in a vast outdoor jungle full of wilder cats that were much larger than he was.

welcome to the jungle