Sunday, March 22, 2009

Killer garage door caught on video!

Anyone who has read my Blog probably knows the garage door and I are not best friends. I've been working to improve my riding skills and have been practicing some of the techniques taught in the "Ride Like A Pro V" video.

Head and eyes. Friction zone. Rear break.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Birding along Sand Creek

I met up with a group of about 20 people to go bird watching (birding) east of Aurora Colorado Saturday morning. It was a pleasant group of people of all ages and birding skills. It was a nice crisp morning with clear skies. We started out at 8:30 A.M. and got back at 10:30 A.M. I had a good time.

Along the way we saw Starlings, Red-tailed Hawks, Junco's, Chickadee's, Meadowlarks, Flickers, Robins, Prairie dogs, some Coyotes, and an airplane. I took my 300mm Telephoto lens and took a lot of pictures. They aren't great but I'm happy with them. [Note: click on each of the arrows below to view the slide show.]

These Prairie dogs don't know what's about to get them!

Prairie dogs and coyotes, Sand Creek east of Aurora CO., March 14, 2009.

We only saw 1 Bald Eagle, way off in the distance. One of the more experienced birders spotted it sitting in a tree. I'm sure it saw us long before we saw it. After awhile it flew past us to the west.

Bald Eagle, Sand Creek east of Aurora CO., March 14, 2009.

We saw a lot of Red-tailed Hawks. We watched one of them in a tree while we waited for the others to arrive.

Red-tailed hawk, Sand Creek east of Aurora CO., March 14, 2009.

I finally got a picture of a Mountain Chickadee. This is the bird that makes the "fee-bee" up/down whistling. It makes you think someone is trying to get your attention or is playing a trick on you.

Mountain Chickadee, Sand Creek east of Aurora CO., March 14, 2009.

We heard this Western Meadowlark before we saw it. It was so great to hear a Meadowlark again. I haven't heard one in a very long time - they don't come into the city. To someone who grew up on the prairie, the Meadowlarks song is music to the ears. There is a recording at the link below.

Western Meadowlark, Sand Creek east of Aurora CO., March 14, 2009.

This is about the third Robin I've seen this spring.

Starlings are everywhere

The Cessna was probably the most exciting sighting of the morning - not really.

I had a good time and will do it again.

Photos by Clyde Hoadley, 2009, Creative Commons, Some rights reserved.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Fee-bee, fee-bee

The morning air has been filled with bird calls when I step outside with my first cup of coffee. The neighborhood is thick with Northern Flickers calling to each other. There are Mountain Chickadees in the area too. I haven't actually seen one but I hear them calling "fee-bee, fee-bee" and another one will answer back. The "fee-bee" is a slow up/down whistle that makes you think someone is trying to get your attention or is playing a trick on you.
You can hear them morning, noon, and night, calling to each other, getting the work of this new year underway. The birds are returning, scavenging your neighborhood to make their homes, building cradles for their young, ceaselessly flying onward to the next task.

Terry Tempest Williams writes, "I pray to the birds because they remind me of what I love rather than what I fear." Robins, blue jays, and wrens are the priests of springtime, confidently going about their rituals, selflessly offering inspiration, never resting upon their laurels (or elms or maples). Enter their green cathedral and sing a song of praise to the new season along with them.

Nelson, Brian. Earth Bound: Daily Meditations For All Seasons. Boston, MA: Skinner House, 2004. p. 46.
Next Saturday I'm planning to go east of Aurora early in the morning, if it doesn't snow, and look for Bald Eagles and Owls. I'll take my camera and telephoto and try to get some good pictures.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The boy just wants to have fun

I actually have a fairly cushy job and I'm fairly well paid. But, I don't like what I do. I haven't enjoyed my work for a long time. That was one of the reasons I slowly migrated away from the technical aspects of the work toward the management and leadership aspects of the work. Unfortunately, for me the grass isn't any greener here than it was over there.

I don't think work/job/career is the source of the problem. I don't get much enjoyment or satisfaction from life. I'm tired of this. I'm bored. I'm lonely. I'm probably depressed. I want to experience joy. I want to feel a sense of fulfillment. I want someone to love. I want to live!

I am being a little melodramatic. I feel a sense of satisfaction some of the time. I'm not bored all of the time, and I'm not lonely all of the time. I think the key is to recognize that these are my own internal states. Joy, loneliness, boredom and dissatisfaction are internal states of being - they don't come from outside of myself. They are usually the result of, often times, unconscious (lacking awareness) personal choices.

Another key aspect for me to remember is "thus is life". There is an ebb and flow of life. Some days are better than others. I probably would be certifiably insane if I was joyous 24x7! There is no such thing as light if there is not also darkness. Can one be happy if one has not also known sadness?

Like eating a well balanced diet my pursuits and activities need to be well balanced too. I have a tendency to devote too much time and energy to a few narrow pursuits at the expense of a well balanced life. I need to develop a diverse social network, exercise every single day, have a variety of recreational activities (motorcycles, birding, photography, blogging), and take advantage of professional development programs. If necessary, I can think of my job as providing the means to facilitate the rest (a means to an end.)