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Good News - An internet search turned up exactly my camera NEW through Amazon.com and to Cameta Camera in New York. I sucked it up and paid. It will have a basic lens, but I will have to wait 3 more weeks for my daughter to bring my other lenses down here to me so...bought it.
Bad News #2 - I checked the mailing confirmation when it arrived in my email inbox and discovered that the camera was being mailed to the Michigan address. MY MISTAKE, probably. I called UPS and found the package hadn't been picked up yet. Promptly at 9 the next morning I called Cameta Camera. The lady checked for me and said the parcel had been picked up at 4 AM. They could call UPS, have it brought back, and ship it to the right address. BUT they would have to charge me two more shipping fees.
I decided to let the camera go on to the house in Michigan. My son will grab it as soon as it is delivered, take it across the street to my Step-son who will give it to his buddy's wife who works for UPS and she will reship it to me. I might have it by next Friday.
Today while I was wandering around lookng at plants, there was an unfamiliar call coming from the sky. As I looked up I recognized the softer sound of an adult Sand Hill. It was circling and calling in circles that came closer and closer to the lake. Finally there was an answering call from the lake and the flying bird widened its circle and landed somewhere in the vacinity of the lake.
I heard no more. An hour or more later, I was searching for turtles on the little beaches across the bay. Woa! Suddenly I was staring at two adult Sand Hills. I grabbed my little Canon Powershot ELPH and went all the way down to the seawall without upsetting the pair. My favorite shot is above.
Now I can only hope they decide to nest near us.
Festival on March 14, 2008
Then I opened a can of sardines for the gorgeous big white Egret in his mating plumage. I can see why they were almost extinct for those long tail feathers (for m'lady's hat, I read). Someone asked me if the Egret and Stork will eat out of my hand. I have no idea! I am more afraid of those long sharp beaks than they are of me. I am perfectly happy to set the sardines on a paper plate on the seawall and just watch from a safe distance...about 10 feet.
As I sat down on the patio with my bowl of Cheerios, I noticed a pair of grey squirrels playing about. They certainly are not unusual. In fact they can become quite the pest like they are in the city park. Several companies advertise that they wil rid you of these "pests". However, they are new in this neighborhood and I like them so I put out a bowl of cherrios for them. They are smaller than the FOx squirrels up North. Their fur looks softer, grey with a white belly and throat and white around the eyes. Makes them look SO sweet, but I know better.
Then I had to dip an enormous spider out of the pool and "encourage" her to take up residence elsewhere.
Well, the wildlife can't be ALL cute!
We have only seen this bird a handful of times. Yesterday evening, while sitting by the lake and chatting with a neighbor, we heard the distinctive "laugh". In no time we spotted him on a dead orange tree two houses away. A convenient clump of palm hid me while I snapped a couple of pictures. How I wished for my Digital SLR (still in the shop being cleaned of sand and water) and my 300mm lens (gone forever). But, for a little purse Canon I didn't think the ELPH Powershot did a bad job.
According to "All About Birds" (Cornell University):
Nearly as large as a crow, the Pileated Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in most of North America. Its loud ringing calls and huge, rectangular excavations in dead trees announce its presence in forests across the continent.Cool Facts
- The Pileated Woodpecker digs characteristically rectangular holes in trees to find ants. These excavations can be so broad and deep that they can cause small trees to break in half.
- A Pileated Woodpecker pair stays together on its territory all year round. It will defend the territory in all seasons, but will tolerate floaters during the winter.
- The feeding excavations of a Pileated Woodpecker are so extensive that they often attract other birds. Other woodpeckers, as well as House Wrens, may come and feed there.
- The Pileated Woodpecker prefers large trees for nesting. In young forests, it will use any large trees remaining from before the forest was cut. Because these trees are larger than the rest of the forest, they present a lightning hazard to the nesting birds.
- Size: 40-49 cm (16-19 in)
- Wingspan: 66-75 cm (26-30 in)
- Weight: 250-350 g (8.83-12.36 ounces)
- Large woodpecker.
- Red crest on head.
- Black body.
- White in wings, at base of primaries, and underwing linings.
- White conspicuous in flight; at rest shows only as small white spot at front of wing.
- Black and white stripes on face.
- White stripe extending from base of bill down neck.
- White stripe above eye and below crown.
- Throat white.
- Bill thick and silvery gray.
- Yellowish feathers over nostrils.
- Legs and feet grayish black.
- Eyes yellow.
The camera shop in Melbourne (Southern Camera) has not heard from Canon yet but should by tomorrow. It has been more than 10 days since they sent it in to the factory.
We went bumming around yesterday, including a visit to a pawn / gun shop. I asked to see the lenses in the showcase (3) and discovered one was a Canon. It was the basic lens that usually comes on the DSL but, the cheapest I could find was $89 on sale. They wanted $20 for this one and I couldn't find a mark on it. ...and I got them to throw in the Canon battery sitting there. The battery appears to be fully charged and functional.
Now, at least I will be able to use the camera IF I get it back repaired. There are 3 more lenses back in Michigan with my daughter's camera. We both have Canon Rebel film SLRs, but they will probably never be used again. So...I will have lenses although not like the one that took a swim. Meanwhile, I will be saving up for a similar lens to the drowned one...WITH the stabilization technology.
When I was teaching I tried to be the FIRST to bring a snake into the classroom each spring. That usually stopped the jokesters from trying to scare me. If I am in control, snakes don't bother me, but I don't like being surprised. I would never show shock or fear in front of the children so I overcame a natural aversion to snakes.
I came in and told the Old Dear, hoping he would be the hero. I also grabbed the Audubon book on Florida. One black snake was all black and the "better" one has white or cream under the chin. WHAT? I am going to look???
Bu the time the Old Dear appeared with a 5-gallon covered (empty) bucket and the Delux Gopher Pick-up and Reacher tool the snake's head was coming out from the crack. AHA! Cream under the chin. A Racer (coluber constrictor) CONSTRICTOR???
Finally the snake was IN the bucket and the lid firmly on. My OD took it WAYYYY down the road and let it go into the brush.
I am not crazy about snakes, especially on the patio or in the house (like that first week we were here this year) but I wil not allow them to be killed.
- Laura Lou
- Michigan/Florida, United States
- I am a retired Middle School Science teacher from Michigan spending 4 months each winter in Florida and learning about a whole new world.