Friday, March 23, 2007

Hurray! I knew it must be.

Your Brain is Purple

Of all the brain types, yours is the most idealistic.
You tend to think wild, amazing thoughts. Your dreams and fantasies are intense.
Your thoughts are creative, inventive, and without boundaries.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking of fictional people and places - or a very different life for yourself.

Thanks, 'Meg!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

North Carolina Bird Sightings

I am finally here in (sunny!!) North Carolina, and after three weeks, I'm loving it. I bought a few bird feeders and have enjoyed watching the many birds that live in the wooded area behind my apartment. On Wednesday mornings that's what I do: sit and watch the birds on my porch with my tea and breakfast. It's a super-nice break in the week to work 4 10-hour days and have Wednesdays off.
I also bought some seeds (herbs and flowers, mostly, but also some lettuce shoots in case the seeds all fail!) and potted them out on my porch. This is a true indication that I will be "staying put" for a while. I don't travel with plants.

Below are a few pictures of my recent observations in North Carolina (on the wish-list, of course, is a better camera!)
This is a goldfinch at my little disposable thistle feeder. They are getting to be brighter and brighter shades of yellow as the weeks progress. Usually there are about 2 or 3 there at a time. They're very timid, and will didsappear immediately if I so much as walk by the sliding glass door. When I'm sitting on the porch, they will fly toward the feeder and then suddenly vear away in a sharp zooming arch--I guess they don't see me until they get a little closer!

These goldfinches are on two different feeders. The one on the big feeder will inevitably join the other one, since they all prefer the smaller thistle seed.

This Carolina wren is watching me, because I have the sliding door open and I'm just sitting there looking at him. He's very hesitant to take anything from the feeder, because he'll have to divert his attention away from me! He has such a beautiful song, and I heard him long before he ventured over to my porch.
The house finch, which has a beautiful red head and breast, won't even appear when he sees me out on the porch, or right inside with the door open!

You can barely see the Carolina Chickadee at my suet feeder. Besides this little guy, I see Downy and Red-breasted Woodpeckers there often, which is a lot of fun. Below is a Downy, although the red cap can't be seen very well. I know it's more fun to see birds live, anyway--but it's sad that my camera really isn't a very good tool for capturing their charm.

This female cardinal will come to my railing (where I leave a bunch of seed) or right onto the floor of my porch. The male generally follows and they sit there together for a while, but he didn't show up this time.

What also didn't show up to pose for my photo-session today was the Red-bellied woodpecker, the house finch (which has a beautiful red face and breast), and the dark-eyed junko. They're all daily regulars, as well.

Here's a final bird-sighting, just 'cause he's my favorite one to watch!

This is known as the Doodle-bird, or Doo for short. His call sounds like a short "Erp!" but you'll only here it occasionally, as a greeting when he enters a familiar environment. He has funny behaviors, which include putting on swimming goggles when he's miles away from any water. He also has a habit of regularly mistaking socks for mittens. This is the most common behavior of the Doo, as you can see here.
This bird can handle high levels of graduate-level research stress, always maintaining a cheery smile and keeping a dry but silly sense of humor. He keeps the ecosystem of Chapel Hill, North Carolina fun and interesting.

In short, I'm having an awesome time here, and couldn't be happier. There is no doubt in my mind that this is where I'm supposed to be right now. And no question in my mind that Doo will continue to be my favorite bird to sight for the rest of my life.