I have neither the time nor the energy for blogging right now, but a girl does have to have one more bowl of cereal before bed, and anyways birds make me happy. These are not the best pictures--any time I try to take a photo of a bird actually flying I pull out my hair and lust after very expensive camera equipment. (In case you're wondering, tropicbirds are some of the best birds ever. Beautiful, dainty, graceful. I first saw a different species--the red-billed tropicbird--at, believe it or not, a place called Bird Island (Sway Cay) in Panama. I was there primarily to snorkel (!!) in my pre-birding days.) Red-tailed tropicbirds are indigenous to the Hawaiian archipelago.
Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge
(Departing from the usual BNT format for a newsflash.)
During our trip to Hawaii, the Good News Girl developed a new hobby overnight. It's like she's following in my footsteps, but more violently. It's difficult to get a decent picture of her at full steam.
The target is, of course, the nearest bird. She loves watching them take off in well-placed terror of her. One unfortunate lame avian did discover what happens when it can't take off--apparently she wants to try out her soccer skills on them--but I was able to swiftly teach her that we don't chase or kick birdies with owies.
But there are no pictures of the events that followed: her traipsing (sprinting) across this giant field at Kokee State Park; her father and I getting lost in the beauty of the moment with the cool evening breezes and the redwoods behind her, discussing something that is forever lost to me; her making a beeline for the chicken family and me not quite believing that after all my instructions she would still chase them (did I forget that she is 2?); both the terrified bird and the terrified Eva standing their respective grounds, squawking and screaming and flapping arms and wings at each other but thankfully making no contact; me discovering that I can, in fact, still run, all 15-extra-pounds-and-one-extra-person of me. It was most dramatic, although like a good woman I had to tell the Pater Familias afterward that it had, in fact, been most dramatic. He wasn't quite sure that it had been. (He has no healthy fear of the creatures, I guess.)
The offended fowl:
It's not all blood, sweat, and tears, though. She's pretty obsessed with the whole concept of binoculars--she has 2 toy pairs herself--and was really excited when I pulled out the big guns (low-end Bushnells from Target) at our accidental discovery of Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge:
Hanging with some nene at our hotel on Kauai:
Better watch out, birds. She's coming for ya! As soon as she figures out how to turn these things around the right way.
Highlight: Being surprised by the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge (I know, I'm the worst birdwatcher ever). We saw several birds that are native to Hawaii, which is kind of unusual with all the invasive species taking over. It will definitely get its own post.
Frighlight: This one's Eva's: My evil, parents, who hate me, sent me down the waterslide and let me go under the water!!! Nary a drop shall touch my face again. (Mom's note: For once, she didn't inhale. We're making progress.)
Picture of the Day:
Highlight: Beautiful weather, beautiful pool and beach, beautiful family, and delicious chicken tenders.
Frighlight: Arriving at the airport 30 minutes before our flight left Kauai. We're fashionably late to every party, people.
Picture of the Day:
Highlight: Will you kill me if I say going to Target? It is so much easier to buy bed linens and maternity clothes in person.
Frighlight: To visit the USS Arizona Memorial, you have to take a boat out there. There are no amenities, bushes, and not even any dark corners--you're totally trapped on a very solemn structure, and in the water below you is the sunken ship, including hundreds of sailors' remains. So when your preschooler cries, "MommyIgottagopotty!"...yeah... (She held it, the big girl.)
Picture of the Day:
Highlight: Getting to fly back with the Pater Familias, instead of the original plan which had us girls flying by ourselves and him going straight to the States.
Frighlight: On our way home from the airport, awake for the past 21 hours*, driving from shoppette to shoppette on Kadena looking for any kind of children's fever reducer as Eva burned up in the back seat. (Our supply recently got fried when I left it in a glove compartment.) There was nothing, but thank God she did not get sicker and slept through the night without too much discomfort. (ICE, ICE, baby!)
Picture of the Day:
*This may not sound like a big deal, but I'd like to remind you that I'm growing a human.
Since I got a few decent pictures of birds in Hawaii, this erstwhile series shall return for a bit. This striking little guy was at the Honolulu Zoo (but wild) (but the species has been introduced from elsewhere, just like most of the birds that you see around Oahu). They originally come from Africa.
I know. Things have been super lame around here recently. Between moving, and my keyboard USB connector thingy getting lost in said move, I haven't been contributing much to the internets. But today I splurged on a new ergonomic keyboard (::insert whine about hurting wrists here::) and am now unstoppable. Anyway, kids, it's time for some fun with turkey vultures!
Laytonville always has such seedy characters hanging around...
Oh yeah, and a common raven! (Did you miss him the first time? We did.)
Mendocino County, California
Random birdy info: I really recommend the movie The Big Year. It's a movie about birders (people who turn birdwatching into a competition). It has Owen Wilson, Jack Black, and Steve Martin. As birders. Need I say more? Well, I will. It does a great job of making fun of birders while capturing the wonder at God's creation that causes some of us to be [wannabe] birdwatchers. It's pretty family-friendly, too (although there is a scene in a fertility clinic that might require some awkward explanations for certain age groups).
I'll get some pretty bird for next week, I promise.
Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
Civilla D. Martin
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. - Luke 12:6-8