Monday, August 10, 2009

A Taste of Crow

Here is a personal sharing. (Read on - there is something about birds in here somewhere...)

I am really an omnivore, but I tend toward the carnivore side of it. Maybe these days it is more PC among "outdoors people" (who tend to be more active and healthy?) to be vegans, but I still exercise my primal hunger! Veggies are great, but I would prefer to have my veggies "pre-processed", so I tend to eat those critters higher up the food chain!
I mostly "catch and release" my fish (when I actually fish - now mostly I fish with my camera...). Judy always wonders why I release table fare! (Well, it's complicated. It has to do with location, water temperature, and anticipated survival rates, although primarily it has to do with an experienced and anticipated taste for the "catch of the day" - but all that is another story...).

Tonight I had a good "taste"of crow. Sensu "eating crow", not the actual beast. I doubt I would really like to eat a crow, or a cormorant, or a seagull. These birds seem rather non-selective!

Yes, eating birds is fine (chickens and turkeys are good, and ducks and goosers even better, and probably the highly-priced squabs and pheasants would be even better yet). They are mostly vegetarians (as are cows, deer, and so on...)! So, it seems I might almost be tending towards a vegan (just "pre-processed"...)?
And, eating fish at all levels is fine. But, think for a moment - when was the last "vegetable" a fish ate? Mostly fish eat smaller fish ("big fish have little fish upon their backs to bite them, and little fish have lesser fish, and so on ad infinitum!") and or crustaceans (or - shudder - "bugs") that really ate the vegies. (Actually the same for other birds - we have watched many species of birds eat whatever unfortunate bug happened by! And, we will not even think about what a chicken or the afore-mentioned birds eat!)

Anyway, tonight I "ate crow"! And, I just need to tell the story!

I processed on the computer tonight a few photo disks from Judy's 12x Kodak camera. I was delighted with her great photos! Geez! She is getting good! It also made me somewhat sad, and quite frustrated! I am shooting a Canon, with a Canon lens, and more often that not, Judy's pics (using my former camera) were better than mine for the same birdie subjects at the same place!

I can taste it! - Crow! Yuk! No wonder they do not sell crow in the upscale markets next to the sushi! (Probably you Mid-westerners would not really appreciate the significance of this, but as a high school kid, I used to walk the streets of Chinatown in San Francisco where the shop windows showed tanks of live fish and caged birds (chickens). Fresh!!!
Anyway, I am dropping a few of Judy's pics here for your enjoyment, and I will "go back to the drawing board" (or camera book) to see if I can improve.

The main message I want to convey is that it really does not matter what camera you shoot! (Or whether you shoot a camera or use binoculars!) What matters is that you are learning (like Judy), getting "out", and observing.
Judy has fun! I have mostly more fun in sharing Judy's experiences than I do in taking photos myself! I have seen such great progress in the last year or two not only in the photographic skills of my wife, but also in her observational skills! She has learned (and enjoyed) so many birds without ever cracking a bird book! It is "just so cool"!!!
Oh, I do need to note: one reason I use my camera (instead of binocs) as a main attachment to my body when birding is a sharing thing! Judy and I can shoot/"see" the same thing at the same time and share at home. Usually one of us will get a decent pic. If not, at least we remember the time together.

Yesterday, we received a wonderful gift from one of the Michigan listing birders! An unused scope was sitting in a basement crying for attention, and the birder (so many thanks!!!) gave us a good price to get it back into circulation! (This is a follow-up to a prior note where a birding couple at Robert Long allowed us to look thru their scope at a Kingfisher and opened a new door for us. Birders are so wonderful and sharing!!!)
Now we will have another sharing option (but only between us at the moment) with the scope (as long as the silly things sit there long enough - and I think they will because we will be such a long way off!). It raises questions about naming what we see, but I guess one of our several field guides now will have to accompany us in the field.

I doubt I would like the taste of a real crow, but "this crow" I am proud to eat!
Enjoy Judy's pics!
(Now, back to my camera book...)

BTW: Crows are really very smart! (you already knew that!) Even a couple of years ago (before we were birding), Judy saw some activity and just sat in a parking lot and just watched a crow hiding food in the parking lot island. The crow brought bread, then covered it up. More than once! I was fascinated to hear her recount of her observations! (I still doubt crows taste very good, however...)

Oh, another note - as I post this on the Google blogspot, it has become apparent to me that Google translates my ramblings into html code as I click "post". So, if (when?) I really want to get good wih my postings, I will need to learn yet another "new trick". OK! It keeps my brain active! Yet, if you do not want to post pics (not really too hard! I did it the first tme!) or "extras" (which I cannot do...), a blog seems a good way to "ramble" in any case! Try it - and please share it! (I learned about blogging from other birders! Thank you all!)

And, please note that each blog has a place to add comments following the blog. Any comments? Anyone "home"?
"Dr. Bob"

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