Jelly, jelly so fine

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Avian April

White breasted nuthatch

I haven't been able to get untracked this week. I went out shooting with Ken at Ramona Tuesday. When I got home in the afternoon I decided to put some jelly in the feeder to see if I could get a good look at the orioles, who came back about a week ago.

It didn't take long. The guy on the wild grape below performed a wild "tik-tik" tail display.

They love their jelly.

female hooded oriole
We have two males and a female this year. So far anyway.

Of course, everybody in the garden wants to get into the sweet action.

house finch

black headed grosbeak
Grosbeaks, mockingbirds, nuthatches and finches, they all took their turn.

Luckily the scrubjays never caught on, because they and the doves create absolute havoc.


I really don't need to leave my house. I get so many great birds at my own feeder!

I had a medical test scheduled for eight in the morning in La Jolla yesterday. 

Being a punctuality freak and fearing traffic, I left awful early, about 5:30 in the morning. I made it in 56 minutes and slept in the parking lot.

When I walked in, to my chagrin they told me my appointment was actually for today. What an idiot. I was really tired and would have to do the whole thing over on Thursday.

I was close so I drove up to the Torrey Pines Reserve to see if I could find falcons.

I did not see any but I did watch a large pod of dolphins hanging around a bait ball.

I was carrying the really good lens, which is quite heavy, and it was a serious workout.

Hard to have a bad day out there.

After I hiked out I stopped at San Elijo Lagoon to try to see if anything was there. Once again, very meager pickings.

One thing I have learned is that the fact that you see a wild animal somewhere once has very little to do with ever seeing it in the same place again, in fact it is rare.

I was thinking of the Byrds (Dylan cover) song, nothing is delivered. 

I have a photographer pal who expects everything to be waiting there for him to easily capture and that is just not the way it works, at least in the world I live in. 

Somedays it is just slim pickin's.

But as I get older, I appreciate the slow days more and more. For the wind, the sun, the flowers , the sounds and the smells.

Always worth the price of admission.

The upshot is that even if business is lousy and I am facing some medical questions (fairly minor ones)
I got three great hikes in in two days, one with Ken and two by myself. Love that.

I went to Kip's for a listening session yesterday with a couple other friends, Mick and Peter, then went home and cooked a passover dinner. Three hour low and slow roast.

I cooked lamb shanks and mostly mashed potatoes. I had purchased some monster "flintstones" sized shanks at Tip Top and the time was right to put them to use.

I am proud to say, that in typical fashion, I used no recipe, preferring to look at six or seven and pull from each.

I seared and then used a fennel, thyme, oregano, bay leaf seasoning along with a lot of fresh rosemary from my garden.

Probably ten cloves of garlic. And my secret ingredient, italian salad dressing.

I didn't have any red wine within reach and used Marsala cut with Manischewits.

It was passover. It worked.

The carrots were really caramelized and I used some nice organic tomatoes.

The meal was wicked good, if I may say so myself.

Fragrant and falling off the bone.

Today, I again rose in the early pre dawn and made my way back to La Jolla in the moonlight.

Once again I was early so I stopped on the coast and watched the small surf come in, smelled the sea air.

Tomorrow I get one more and hopefully last medical test down in San Diego. 

Hopefully I can have a more productive week next week.

It is tough to focus with all the other crap going on and all the hiking and birding.

Need to get back to business, and pronto.

Life just keeps getting in the way and I have tried to roll with it, as best as I can.

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