Tuesday, May 29, 2012

05_25 to 27_2012 Birding in Boulder

So, blogspot has "improved" their photo upload.  This improvement has it darn near impossible to get the photos uploaded and to get the text where I want it to be. :/  Blargh!

Dave and I have been out doing some birding lately as he nurses his latest injury.  (NOTE:  it is advised to leave your ribs attached to their normal points. Separation is not fun).  Thought I'd share his latest photos. The first is a gosling - baby Canada Goose. These birds are always SO CUTE!

The second bird is a Yellow Warbler. They are so beautiful and SO DIFFICULT to photograph. He's gotten several excellent photos,  but none are up to Dave's standards...so we keep trying. We found where a couple are nesting recently. Maybe this knowledge will help us get a perfect shot.

Typical Yellow Warbler - up high in the trees. Still, a lovely picture of a male singing. They love to sing this time of year!

Here is another tree-top dweller: Warbling Vireo. Books generally describe them as "heard, but rarely seen."   This one was through some brush, but Dave managed a shot of him nonetheless. Beautiful song!

We don't see many, but were lucky enough to find a couple of Yellow-headed Black Birds. And even better, Dave caught one enjoying a bath.  Isn't it awesome?

Same guy enjoying a bath.

Afterward, he flew to a tree to sing a happy clean bird song. Fun.

Not a bird, but a big snapping turtle that Dave located at Walden Ponds. Scary!

A cool Belted Kingfisher hide in a tree. Did you know that these birds nest in the banks of ponds?

A Killdeer blends into his surroundings.

A Red-Winged Blackbird. Wish I had a dollar every time someone asks what that bird is called. I tell them and they think I'm pulling their leg. :)

Another shot of a pretty male Yellow Warbler. He's resting a second between songs.

Adult Canada Goose.  Always gentle and fun to watch.

A couple of these guys were hanging out at South Mesa Trailhead recently. Cute.
An extra fun photo of a Yellow Breasted Chat doing a Wren imitation. Check out that perky tail!

Spotted Towhee. Handsome bird.

And quite the singer!

Dave grabbed a couple of photos of Lazuli Bunting. Really gorgeous little birds.

I saw one at our home feeder recently. Wish he'd come back!

Female Downy Woodpecker doing that woodpecker thing.

The House Wren is admittedly a plain looking bird. While he didn't get a lot in in the dramatic looks department, he got it in the beautiful song department. Always a treat to hear their melodic tune.
Western Kingbird gathering fluff for a nest! We located three Western Kingbird nests recently. Soon there will be babies!

Another pretty little House Wren.

And finally, the elegant Eastern Kingbird. Cool that we get Western, Eastern and Cassin's Kingbirds here. Free Blog Counter

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

05_22_2012 More exciting construction photos

Lots of work has been going on at the house the last several days.  Holes for them were cut yesterday and the external kitchen wall was removed. Framing for the wall separating the new room and the living room was completed. It's fun to see it!

Thought I'd put up a few photos. I've been working on some high-pressure deadlines and am stealing a bit of time away to do post these photos.

Today the sky lights are being framed and put in the roof. I need to learn to warn the workers when I'll take a photo. Manny (right) was busy using the sawzall (a saw of sorts) to cut a hole in the roof. You can see he was forced to work around all the electrical wiring in the house to do so.
He's focused on what he's doing and "FLASH" I take a photo. I didn't realize the camera would flash!  He ducked out of that hole really fast thinking he'd hit something hot! A second later, he and Frank (and the rest of us) are cracking up!
It's not often you can see a man standing on your ceiling looking out the roof of your home!
They are in the process of putting in the new kitchen window right now. You can see the hole from the window that was just removed. Still waiting to understand why any builder would put a window abutting a wall like this one was!?!? The new window is a transom window (71"x35" I believe).
Here is a view of the completed framing for the new room. The sheet rock guys will come in a week or so.

Pretty soon we'll start seeing things coming together in a finished fashion instead of a lot of destruction. Sure an enjoying the destruction though!
EDIT: I'm adding some additional photos to show what the kitchen looks like with the window installation complete...
The new window frame was completed and the prep for installation done.
With great ease, the window popped in the hole. Some measuring and levels and whatever happened and voila, we had a new centered, larger window!
Looks really terrific. Check out all the light in this area now.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

05_19_2012 Baby Dippers!

What a cute baby! A few blogs ago, we posted some photos of an adult American Dipper gathering food near his/her nest. At that time, the baby was still in the nest. Now, the baby has fledged. These little guys are amazing. They can leap out of their nest for the first time, plummet into rushing water, and come up with food. They are self-sufficient.
Dave has been able to get by and see their progress as they are near his office. He couldn't believe that the little guy was so grown up. The only thing that makes it clear this is the youngster is that this bird has a yellow bill.
The adults have black bills. Plus, you can see the softness of his/her bill in the corners. How cute is that?
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Friday, May 18, 2012

05_18_2012 WOW! Great work on the house!

Today the workers showed up to do some kitchen demo.  The weather is still too iffy to cut the skylights so that will wait until Monday - weather permitting.
Sort of shocking to discover that the cabinets were attached to the wall by some nails. Not many either. The worker stated that the paint was actually holding the cabinets to the wall!
Watching demo is fun. One by one the cabinets disappeared - in tact. Not like HGTV where the home owner goes nuts and starts smashing apart the cabinets. :)
I'm in the dining room for this photo while the guys are working in the Kitchen. This serves as a fresh reminder of the "before" photo for this phase.
Little bit of sawing had some sparks flying (really), some smoke and dust. Started wondering if the cabinet would ignite!
Fast forward to this! Wall all gone! Isn't it awesome?
You can see the hardwoods had been installed after the house was built. They installed the floor around the existing cabinet bases.
Wow! But wait, it gets better. By the time I returned from the office, see what happened to the floor -
Can you even tell there had been big holes in the floor that morning? The flooring guy is really talented. I'm blown away at his work, and it's not even done!
Hello open concept kitchen! Note the refrigerator is now downstairs in our temporary kitchen. The sink was left functional for now. And the island will eventually go away too.
Current view from the kitchen. Can't wait to see what next week brings!
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Thursday, May 17, 2012

05_03 to 06_2012 Final Bird Photos from AZ

Here is the last installment of AZ bird photos. First photo is of a very difficult to photograph bird: a Yellow Warbler. Gorgeous!
Mexican Mallard. We saw several at the Riparian area.
Check out this awesome photo of a Common Yellow Throat! I love how he is running down the log and I love his reflection in the water!
This is Mrs. Vermillion Flycatcher. We saw her sitting on a nest.
Hey! That's no bird! We saw this very large Rattlesnake at the Riparian area. Ew!
Beautiful shot of a male Townsend Warbler.
A very cool Arizona Woodpecker!
Acorn Woodpecker. They are always fun to see.
Black-Chinned Hummingbird
Black Throated Gray Warbler.
Male Vermillion Flycatcher. What a color he is!
And here is Mrs. Vermillion Flycatcher sitting on her nest. Would be fun to live nearby and watch the babies grow and fledge.
Wilson's Warbler with a moth in his mouth! Dave got a series of photos of him mutilating and gobbling up this moth.
A Yellow Warbler taking a drink at the Riparian area.
Bridled Titmouse getting a drink at a sprinkler head at the B&B.
Female Summer Tanager.
Here she is again with an adorable look on her face!
A Yellow-Rumped Warbler. Nice photo!
The pesky Painted Red Start. Dave says it is as good as he could get of the little rascal - this bird NEVER STOPS!!
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