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Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Day in Pictures: Birds and Cats

A few pictures from around my yard today.

I have a number of feeders around the yard, one for finches filled with thistle seed, and a couple for other small birds filled with arctic bird seed mix.  I also put out squirrel feeders.  So, the squirrel eats the bird food and the birds eat the squirrel food. Go figure.  I love the colors and focus in this first picture:

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Later in the day it clouded up and started to rain.  This bothered ShopKat not at all. She loves the rain and she spent the afternoon hunting voles in the wet ferns or looking down over the valley behind the house.

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Stupid, one of the indoor cats, accomplished nothing. As usual.

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17 comments:

  1. Love the bell on ShopCat! My in-laws were forced to bell their cat (the wildly inappropriately named "Sweetie"), when she started to get WAY too good at hunting.

    Gorgeous pictures!

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  2. Exquisite shots, especially of the feeder. My brother had a tuxedo cat once; smart critter who learned to turn on the kerosene heater when he got cold. His new cat, an orange tabby, is named Max, short for Hiram Maxim. His favorite pastime is watching the squirrel flinger bird feeder.

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  3. Stupid seems like the smart one to me!

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  4. Well, if he had to debate a catnip mouse, I'd give him no better than 50/50 odds.

    He's called stupid for a reason.

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  5. But he's pretty and white.

    Pretty white people don't have to do anything to succeed. ;)

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  6. Ouch is right...but accurate. Stupid is gorgeous.

    I love ShopCat, though. My son's tuxedo cat was part maine coon, and I loved that cat, all 18 lbs. of him. He was a BIG cat.

    He now has a fussy 8-lb grey beast, who shuts the cupboard doors on her level, insists that one use the electronic shower sprayer (it's my feeling that she thinks it's like her electric litter box for humans, since it makes the same sound), and fusses if things aren't the way she thinks they should be. For instance, I hang the towel over the shower rod to dry....it upsets her. It's supposed to be on the towel rack.

    The scenery feels like home, though...which is Northern Ontario!

    Makes me nostalgic...well, until I remember some of the more unpleasant aspects!

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  7. Much prefer well-kempt short hair cats than long haired shedding white monsters.

    IMHO.

    Dr. Phil

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  8. @ Dr. Phil: Agreed. I've broken many a vacuum cleaner sucking up cat hair.

    I used to have a cat named Stoopid. I wanted to name him Schrody, but it turned out that someone released the neurotoxin before he was let out of the Box. (Plus, my wife didn't get the joke, it would have been a waste of good material)

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  9. Stupid looks to me like he's smirking. He's fed, housed, petted and has the best spot in the house.

    knittingbull

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  10. Very nice photos. Can I ask, do you use a tripod? I have a degenerative muscle disease and enjoy watching my birds in the garden and watching my dogs play, but I can't get a decent photo. I tried taking a photography class at one point but due to a poor teacher it was an exercise in frustration.

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  11. Typically I don't use a tripod for pictures like these, though there's no reason why you couldn't.

    Instead of a tripod, you might also think about a monopod - less bulk, it'll steady the camera and can be used as a walking stick.

    My sympathies on your condition, Anonymous. Couple suggestions:

    1) An automatic bird/game camera. A number of manufactures make these. They can be mounted any number of ways and use a variety of sensors, from IR to motion or a combination of both. Some are flash capable, and some have nightsight (IR or light amplification like a pair of night vision goggles) so that they also work at night). They can be set up, pointed at a feeder for example and will take both pictures and video fully automatically and download to a standard SD chip. Some of these also come with a remote, so that you can trigger them manually if you like. Prices vary from a $100 or so to several hundred. My dad uses one to photograph birds at his feeders (and he recently got a hell of a nice picture of a raccoon raiding one of his fruit feeders). I've got one that I use for game pictures. You find them online or from any good sporting goods store (Sportsman's Warehouse carries a wide selection).

    2) A tripod mounted remote control camera. My Nikon uses an RF remote that can trigger one or multiple pictures or video capture depending on how I have it setup. Many other camera systems have remote triggers as options.

    3) If you decide to handhold, use a very fast shutter speed to compensate for shake (on an automatic camera use the "sports" setting). The downside is that you'll need bright light for this. Additionally, if your camera is capable of multiple rapid exposures (what's usually called "motor drive" from the old wet film days when the film was advanced rapidly by a motor), you simply hold down the release and take as many pictures of the subject as you can. One is bound to turn out, delete the rest. When I'm taking pictures of the cat or birds, that's exactly what I do. My camera takes up to 6 pictures a second (depending how I have it set up), with a fast memory card designed for this type of thing, I can take 100 or so shots in rapid succession before the camera pauses to write them to the chip. It's exactly like looking at frames from movie film when you look at the pictures later on the computer. This also works great for taking pictures of teenagers, who make faces and close their eyes and are generally a pain in the ass. Out of those 500 shots, there's maybe one worth keeping.

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  12. Beautiful pics, and of course the lovely ShopKat and Stupid.

    I have a question about ShopKat: does she stay in at night? She's obviously an intrepid feline, but I was curious whether she felt up to dealing with wildlife at night.

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  13. ShopKat stays in the shop at night. I always make sure she's safely in the shop before I shut and lock the building in the evening.

    In the winter, she never goes outside. She doesn't like the cold or the snow.

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  14. ShopKat is a smart girl! Something we already knew. :-)

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  15. Stupid cat should be introduced to simple dog.

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  16. ha! we had a cat named Stupid. :) He was a good cat....

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