Last Sunday, as we were having our cocktail hour, I was in the kitchen getting supper prepped when I heard Linda say, “Come look at this!” I rushed into the living room and she pointed out the window. Hopping around out on the Golden Currant bushes was a small yellow bird. I grabbed my camera and after a couple of minutes of frantically trying to capture him on video, I succeeded in getting a couple of seconds. We looked him up on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website and found that he was a Wilson’s Warbler. I was hoping it was another new bird to add to my life list, but when I looked at the list his name was already checked off. I have no idea when or where we last saw this species of bird, but it must have been some time ago. The website lists the Wilson’s Warbler as migratory in our area. So we were very happy that ole “Eagle Eye” Linda spotted him. (video below)
I still have not seen any more hummingbirds at my feeder, so I’ve tried to turn my attention to the other birds we have right now. We’ve had a lot of visits from several Scrub Jays. This is a very beautiful bird, although he can be a bully…for which the Jay family is notorious.
I’ve seen the Golden Crowned Sparrow hopping around a lot underneath the Golden Currants and the feeder. His yellow “crown” is a lot deeper color now than it was a few weeks ago, which means he is in his breeding colors. He’s a fast little hopper and it is very much a challenge to get some good pictures or video of him. I did my best and had to slow down the video to keep him in the frame longer. (video below)
UPDATE ON THE GARDEN
This past week I finally got all the weeds cleared out of the vegetable garden area, and let me tell you, there were tons of them. The weather here is getting warmer and there are no freezes predicted, so I am going to get my plants in the ground this weekend. I usually wait until after Memorial Day, but the plants are getting so root-bound in the little containers that I feel sorry for them.
The lettuce seeds I planted on April 30th are coming up nicely. These are the Parris Island Romaine, which has always been the best lettuce producer for me. Only a few of the Red Romaine and Bon Vivant Gourmet Blend seeds are coming up so far. I planted those seeds the next day on May 1st so I don’t know why they are not coming up as well. Hopefully more of them will poke through the ground in the coming days, since we have highs predicted in the 80’s.
I was out in the front yard the other day admiring our Spruce tree, which I like to call our “Christmas Tree”. I often wonder if any birds have built a nest inside of it, but we wouldn’t be able to tell because it is so dense. I do see them landing on it from time to time. The needles on its branches are very prickly, though.
A DIFFERENT LOOK
One of my fellow bloggers here on WordPress, Susanne Swanson who writes Cats and Trails and Garden Tales (click here to go to her blog) posted a picture with a very interesting effect in one of her recent blogs. I asked her how she got this effect on the picture and she told me how she did it in-camera. Since we both use the same brand of camera (Sony), I thought my camera might have the same function as well, so I checked. Lo and behold, it did indeed have the Picture Effect function! So I decided to try it out. The function has seven different effects on my camera, all of which are available only when using it as a still camera and not a camcorder. The most dramatic effect is the one called Posterization. This is a very starling effect that creates a very abstract version of the original picture. It’s not an effect that you would use every day, but I thought I would include a picture below using Posterization so you could see how it works.
The picture of our lilac flowers has all of the colors exaggerated, and the background has been rendered completely black. The high contrast of intense colors against a black background gives you an entirely different picture from the original.
I will probably play around some more with these effects in future blogs. It is funny that I’ve had this camera for three years and I am just now learning about this. But there are so many bells and whistles on it, I have been apt to just use the same features I used on my old camera. This may warrant more exploring of my camera’s capabilities…who knows what I will discover! Thank you again to Susanne for alerting me to this very interesting function of my camera. If you would like to see some absolutely gorgeous pictures of the Pacific Northwest (and other places as well), click on this link here and check out her blog.
Summer Girl was a willing guinea pig for a demonstration of the Posterization effect. I always knew she was a drama queen…
Join me every Wednesday (barring any unforeseen circumstances) for more from the Southerner in the Northwest.