Friday, November 15, 2013

I Love the Nuthatch



We have a bird feeder hanging from a tree limb in our front yard. While I’m getting ready for the day I look out the window and watch the little guys going back and forth from the feeder to my makeshift bird bath. They’re so sweet and if I ever get locked up in a nursing home they can put me in front of the birdhouse and I’ll be all right all day long.
There are many different birds that come and go. Mostly sparrows and the odd flicker or dove. Flickers are the P-51 of the bird world. Doves are like a Douglas DC-3, those elegant silver vintage aircraft. Sparrows fly in under the radar with their modest color. I wish I could attract a bird of prey like an eagle. Now wouldn’t that be a sight! I’d probably faint. All the other birds would faint, too. But eagles don’t go for the nuts and seeds. We won’t see any today or even tomorrow.


The bird I really like is the nuthatch. It looks like gravity means nothing to them. They’re the spidermen of my bird world. At our house as through most California we see the white-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis). It is a stocky bird, with a large head, short tail, powerful bill and strong feet. The upperparts are pale blue-gray, and the face and underparts are white. It has a black cap and a chestnut lower belly. I love how it feeds upside down on our feeder. I just love to try to imagine what its world is like going head first down the side of the feeder.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I Speak Out from Where I Am

I recently had a little kerfuffle involving whether or not to discontinue this blog and switch to WordPress. WordPress is a really nice little tool to make really nice looking blogs and a lot of people use it. So I went over to WordPress and signed up. I even signed up for the $99.00 a year premium version so I could get a "free" domain name. I now have a domain name "rlbenoit.com" through WordPress. The problem was how in the world could I transport everything I'd done on blogspot. It seemed a herculean task to copy and paste and add all the photos one at a time. I even started doing it and then I realized it was going to look weird when so many blogs were registered as being created all on one day. Word Press is robust and what I would call "thick". There are so many layers and it's not easy to lift each one to find answers to your challenges. I quickly become tired. Then there was the question of how to let all my readers know I was switching over.

I finally decided to abandon the idea and make the WordPress blog my art blog and use it to promote my artwork. I hope it works out. It's a pretty steep learning curve and I haven't found a template that lends itself to displaying art. But I paid my $99.00 and the templates do look good so I'm going to keep at it until I get it right. I hope my friends will bear with me while I make mistakes and publish bloopers like I did last night.

One thing this all made me realize is how complicated life has become. When I was a girl there was only one or two ways to communicate. There was the telephone and long distance phone calls were expensive so most people wrote letters if there wasn't an emergency.  You couldn't tweet your every thought in every given moment. There were no computers or email. Nothing was instant. You didn't feel like you were a slave to the latest technology because there wasn't any.

There's no way to go back to this simplicity. Well, there is but you have to be really committed and you have to have a job where it wouldn't matter if you went analog. It's really too bad. People get amped up and they can't relax and what we need is more ease instead of less. All these devices are causing an undercurrent of unease from where I sit. I'm very much in a quandary. However, I feel that as long as I am aware of this quandary that a solution will eventually present itself. In the meantime I'm trying to stay present and not let myself get unconscious about it all. That's when the "frazzled" feeling starts to creep back in. I really hate feeling frazzled. We came out to this ranch to get away from that. It's a constant vigilance to keep the wolves from the door.