bill

By: ycd0108 , 3:20 PM GMT on February 05, 2013

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Waiting for the "Photo Approover" to allow me to bring this picture here but I can tell the story without it for now:
We were all dressed up and ready to go to a memorial for our good friend Bill when Blue Heron dropped in.
We named the heron "bill".

bill (ycd0108)
bill
telephoto bill (ycd0108)
telephoto bill
Moss removal (ycd0108)
Moss removal
moss mosaic (ycd0108)
Attempting to transplant roof moss to lawn
moss mosaic

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35. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
4:14 PM GMT on February 13, 2013
ycd0108 has created a new entry.
34. ycd0108
12:48 AM GMT on February 13, 2013
Oh Lordy:
I think I linked the whole album:
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 170 Comments: 4392
33. RobDaHood
12:18 AM GMT on February 13, 2013
Have my dogs trained to leave the birds alone. Took a while. The herons freak the cat out.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 93 Comments: 30622
32. ycd0108
12:15 AM GMT on February 13, 2013
Funny you brought that tune here Bogon:
I had a habit of climbing buildings years ago in the "Big Smoke". Now and then some resident would call police as I passed - I did not want any of their possessions, I just wanted to climb the building.
Got away almost clean from the first trial climb. I was coming out of the elevator as two policemen entered the lobby so they ignored me. One buddy was wandering up in the top floor looking for me so the officers asked him to check to see if I was hiding on top of the elevator shelter. He was a bit ruffled when they let him go but drove me home to get rid of me.
I don't do that on other folks buildings any more - mainly because it is not physically possible now - but I enjoyed some very special views.
Quite often there is no "Break and Enter" needed and I was not a real burglar anyway. When you get a few floors up the windows are often unlatched.
So I was showing off to one of my now quite upstanding guests and took him on a tour of my favorite offices in downtown 4th floor. I had been through before but this time I wandered in to an office and there was a uniform snoozing at a desk.
I Said: "What are YOU doing here?"
He said: "What are You doing here?"
Buddy and I hurried out the front door and carried on with our nightscapades.

Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 170 Comments: 4392
31. Bogon
10:13 PM GMT on February 12, 2013
What's that noise? Maybe a cricket?

Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 3436
30. ycd0108
4:18 AM GMT on February 12, 2013
Rob:
It never occurred to me to try to feed a Blue Heron. I built a couple of ponds and stocked them with Goldfish instead. Today a heron did a low pass over the ponds. I was using one hand on the rope to keep steady on the roof and only noticed when Jupiter announced. He won't put up with large birds or helicopters anywhere near the yard. I don't know if the Samgal was even in my pocket at the time but it seems to me there might be a market for a camera more or less shaped like a pistol which you could draw, aim and shoot a picture with one hand. 'Course I've already got enough stuff hanging off my belt
Someone would very likely mix up the Camera with a real cannon so maybe that is not such a good idea.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 170 Comments: 4392
29. RobDaHood
2:10 AM GMT on February 12, 2013
LOL
The squirrels learn to skate pretty quick. Might freak them out for a day or two though.

As for Blue, well, He'll let me get pretty close and will accept the occasional shrimp tossed from a few feet away, but I don't think any belly scratching will occur any time soon.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 93 Comments: 30622
28. ycd0108
2:04 AM GMT on February 12, 2013
I had just read your account on your place and saw the ticker show up your comment here.
Thanks for the story and the information about the Blue Heron.
I'm wondering now if the pinstripe was not on the inner surface of the wing. It has been a number of years since I saw it so I just assumed the bird would have landed there to scan the tidal flats below. However the tree was so close to the window the bird would have had to avoid the roof overhang so maybe it landed facing me.
Maybe if Big Blue is that well fed he or she will let you scratch it's belly and stretch out limbs (wings) with pleasure like Jupiter often does.
We have a number of small brown squirrels living about my house, wood shed and shop and they have been a bit vocal about our crew setting up scaffolding and fastening roofing down with battery powered impact drivers. They were fairly tame before this project and now that we can return to a somewhat normal setup the long lectures should taper off. I don't know how a squirrel will manage on damp metal roofing though.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 170 Comments: 4392
27. RobDaHood
1:34 AM GMT on February 12, 2013
Blue herons come in a variety of shades from drab gray to very blue. The markings vary as well. I've seen some with red on the wings but not sure about the exact markings you describe. But...no reason to doubt it!

Something that happened here today that I posted on my blog, but thought you might enjoy:

This evening, a momma squirrel who is particularly tame and has been coming around for a few years showed up on the deck. You have to understand, she will just sit there and stare at me with those hungry brown eyes until I go and get her a treat. If I don't, she'll just keep coming closer until she is practically in my lap. Now...I don't want a tree rat in my lap, so I generally comply.

Anyway, as I was inside getting half a slice of 12 grain bread for the tree rat, imaginatively named 'Squirrely', (yeah, I know...don't give me any grief but it's a squirrel, why waste a lot of time coming up with a name...especially when she comes a runnin' to 'Squirrely'), when I hear Angie calling me frantically from the deck.

Well, I come out to see what the commotion is. Big Blue, the Heron decided to drop in just before dark and had caught himself a bass, at least 10 inches long.

So...he's standing there at the edge of the lake with this big fish flopping around in his mouth. I could hear him thinking. Okay...I won the lottery. Now...what am I gonna do with it.

Well, either he dropped it, or it go away, but at any rate, he then pierced it with his beak. Now he was standing there with a too big fish flopping around on his beak.

Well, we watch for a few more minutes. Not sure he knew what to do with it, when all of a sudden he flipped it off his beak and proceeded to swallow it!!

At this point, I'm thinking, "I'm not sure I know how to do and emergency tracheotomy on a bird" but thinking I'm gonna have to learn.

To our amazement, Blue swallowed, with some real effort, the bass, stood there for a minute, then drank a lot of water to help wash it down.

Couldn't believe it!
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 93 Comments: 30622
26. ycd0108
4:36 AM GMT on February 11, 2013
A work in progress.
We love moss and it seems to tolerate us.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 170 Comments: 4392
25. ycd0108
1:59 AM GMT on February 11, 2013
Evening BriarCraft:
That is why we chose the metal color "Hickory Moss". I doubt the moss can get as much purchase on the metal but we will see. I know my boots don't get much grip on damp metal.
Thanks for the mail re the photos. I don't usually reply there because I doubt that anyone would go back to check but by golly if someone has the gumption to post a comment there I should be able to post a reply.
SIL and nephew spent a couple of hours stitching down end trim, closure foam, bug screen and ridge cap up to the chimney while I ran up and down the stairs to feed them materials through the open skylight so all that's left is a short section from the chimney to the south gable. Well, that and the skylight and chimney flashing. Then a day pulling down the scaffolding. Final cleanup will involve dealing with the mass of moss but Tloml, daughter#2 and grandson had a good time placing moss in a mosaic just off the wood deck today and it looks fine just now. I don't know if it will survive since that is an high traffic area.
I am guessing you are mature enough to remember the "Wringer Washer" and the saying regarding safety near that machine.
"Do try to keep fingers and other protruberences clear of that flashing break. Don't want any fingers bent where they're not supposed to."
The Sheet Metal Break and the Slitter seem fairly safe in that regard. None of my phalanges could fit in the squishing part nor the slitting part.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 170 Comments: 4392
24. BriarCraft
9:40 PM GMT on February 10, 2013
We keep the safety harnesses on the ground so the ground man can quickly belt up the body and then call an ambulance.

Ah, a wise man. I guess the "belting up" would greatly reduce the "flopping around" aspect. At least you do have ropes to hold onto while on the roof. Kicked-loose moss could make the footing a bit uncertain.

Seeing the picture of the house and surroundings (beautiful setting, I might add), I now understand why you've a bit of a moss problem. All those constantly-dropping fir needles provide a fertile base for moss to flourish.

Do try to keep fingers and other protruberences clear of that flashing break. Don't want any fingers bent where they're not supposed to.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 70 Comments: 3585
23. ycd0108
4:49 PM GMT on February 10, 2013
Good morning:
Ylee:
I see from your blog you've already gone home.
I slept in this morning - the push to get the bulk of the metal roofing put in place was a bit much for this old feller. Gunther had enough sense to get down off the roof at about 1500 but the two younger fellows were willing to keep going as long as I could get the roofing felt and metal sheets up to them. I knew the next day would be a write-off.
Still need to go back up and place the gable end trim, ridge cap and bend the flashing for the chimney and skylights.
The guy who sells us roofing loans me a Sheet metal "break" and a "Slitter" so I can make up the flashings.
It makes for some tedium trying to "Think like a rain drop" and break (read bend) the metal to fit.
Of course the straight skylight flashings are easy compared to fitting flashing to a stone chimney so I am avoiding thinking about that. The chimney goes up through the ridge so there is no need for a header flashing.
In a new build I usually try to get the skylights placed close enough to the ridge to tuck the header flashing under the ridge cap.
This is much more information than the reader needs, I know, but it happens to be my obsession these days.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 170 Comments: 4392
22. Ylee
8:13 AM GMT on February 10, 2013
Quoting ycd0108:
We found the best way to remove the moss was to kick it down slope with your boots. The "fall arrest" would not be approved by "Worksafe" but the scaffold would slow your decent. We keep the safety harnesses on the ground so the ground man can quickly belt up the body and then call an ambulance.


I'd think you'd fit in where I work just fine! Not many places to take pictures of birds, though!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 86 Comments: 14559
21. ycd0108
5:48 PM GMT on February 09, 2013
Good article about George Orwell on BBC online:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21337504
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 170 Comments: 4392
20. ycd0108
4:43 PM GMT on February 09, 2013
We found the best way to remove the moss was to kick it down slope with your boots. The "fall arrest" would not be approved by "Worksafe" but the scaffold would slow your decent. We keep the safety harnesses on the ground so the ground man can quickly belt up the body and then call an ambulance.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 170 Comments: 4392
19. ycd0108
3:46 AM GMT on February 09, 2013
Evening Shoreares;
I was "ground man" today but the Samgal was on charge when a flock of Snow Geese came over. Missed that. Went to get the photo machine and the Snow Geese came back the other way (north east) Then a bunch of tiny birds tried to make a symphony just overhead. Nothing like a Murmuration but not bad.
My picture taking skills are by no means honed so I have no images but more and more I can appreciate what other photographers have to do.
Meantime I was supposed to be cutting the metal roofing and the fellows up top were wondering when they would get the next piece.
I'm still not satisfied that what I think I saw and what I see of Blue Heron photographs are identical. The photos show orange on the leading edge of the wings.
What I saw was a fine stripe of distinct red about an inch or so inside the leading edge on the back of the wing. Also the bird was much more blue than the ones pictured - no white feathers.
Oh Dang! My sister Jan is an avid "Birder" so I should email her with this question. She rarely answers emails but you never know.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 170 Comments: 4392
18. shoreacres
3:33 AM GMT on February 09, 2013
I just happened to glance at Phil's site again and he has a set of photos of the Great Blues today that show those rusty feathers just beautifully.

He was a sports photographer for years - hence, he has the equipment and the skills to photograph birds in flight, especially. As he says, there's not much difference between a jump shot and a pelican dive!
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
17. ycd0108
2:17 AM GMT on February 09, 2013
Quoting Ylee:
While reading an older Monbiot column, I came across this article. Too true, I'm afraid. Question is, what will the world look like(and it is the world, not just the US, as the writer is referring to), if we do revolt, even if we are capable?

Hope you are making progress on the roof!

Ylee: Got the main surface metaled this aft.
I'm bunned.
Gonna take tomorrow to clean up the site and Sunday to put on ridge cap and gable trim.
'Course it is forecast to be dry for a few days - that always occurs when we get a roof on.
Feels mighty good though.
I could only get through part of the link you put up here.
But I have a feeling the "Rich and (in)famous"
have not been able to dot the "I"s and cross the 'T"s lately if ever.
Tonight I doubt I could dot an "I" but tomorrow I'll be rarin' to go.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 170 Comments: 4392
16. Ylee
8:49 PM GMT on February 08, 2013
While reading an older Monbiot column, I came across this article. Too true, I'm afraid. Question is, what will the world look like(and it is the world, not just the US, as the writer is referring to), if we do revolt, even if we are capable?

Hope you are making progress on the roof!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 86 Comments: 14559
15. ycd0108
8:43 PM GMT on February 07, 2013
Hey Ylee:
Just in for lunch and the sun is shining so I better go up the scaffold. We got half the roof metalled.
I don't know much about Herons but they show up now and then - pretty impressive bird but what a "song" as they fly away!
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 170 Comments: 4392
14. Ylee
5:01 PM GMT on February 07, 2013
Hi, ycd! We have Bill's kinfolk around here, too; didn't use to see them very often, but now, along with Canada geese, are quite common!

You know, it's amazing how hard the U.S. media keeps us in the dark. :(
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 86 Comments: 14559
13. oregonbirdofprey
4:23 PM GMT on February 07, 2013
Good eye shore. I can't see the pics because I'm at work. I'll try and get some close-ups Monday when I have the birds out.
Member Since: September 26, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 946
12. ycd0108
4:21 PM GMT on February 07, 2013
Got it Shoreacres and thanks again.
I have wondered since why this bit of color would evolve at all.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 170 Comments: 4392
11. shoreacres
3:48 PM GMT on February 07, 2013
Your eyes didn't deceive you. The GBH has chestnut-colored wing patches. In the third photo down here, you can see them, and on the farther wing you can see the vaguely "pinstripe" appearance of his chestnut-colored feathers.

They're not usually visible when the bird's at rest or fishing, but when it flies - or is trying to balance itself in a tree! - you can see them.
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
10. ycd0108
3:33 PM GMT on February 07, 2013
Good morning:
2C. and VLR with some gusty winds. Our forecast is: "Clearing trend" so by the time I have the roof metalled I won't need it for a few days.
oregonbirdofprey:
I just went to Google and found some fine photos of the bird but I can not see any sign of a pin stripe. Maybe the bird I saw had just come from the Feather Dresser and wanted to show off?
You take care when near those birds. That bill looks formidable and it can strike like lightning.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 170 Comments: 4392
9. oregonbirdofprey
2:39 PM GMT on February 07, 2013
YCD, I've never noticed a red stripe but we have two of the birds in the clinic now so I will see for sure when I'm back in there this Monday.
Member Since: September 26, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 946
8. ycd0108
3:58 AM GMT on February 07, 2013
Good evening oregonbirdofprey:
You might be able to answer a question that has been on my mind for some years.
I was working on the third plus floor of a house I had built in a fairly (really) remote inlet when a Blue Heron landed in a sapling just outside the window. The tree was so flimsy at this height the bird was using it's wings to stabilize itself and the top of the sapling - probably less than 15' from the windows I had been trimming out.
What I think I saw (my eyes were much better then) was:
A red pin stripe along the edge of the wing. The stripe was very thin but very distinct. I have mentioned this to others but no one else seems to have seen it.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 170 Comments: 4392
7. oregonbirdofprey
1:24 AM GMT on February 07, 2013
YCD, I do some volunteer work in a wildlife rehab and we get Blue Herons in from time to time. Very beautiful birds, a favorite of mine, but sometimes difficult to handle and they don't often do very well in rehab.
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6. ycd0108
4:38 AM GMT on February 06, 2013
Wilco Rob:
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5. RobDaHood
2:48 AM GMT on February 06, 2013
All cranes are special in Japanese culture.

And they are special to me.

I've no doubt that this bird on this particular day had special meaning. Record it. Remember it. Take comfort from it, my friend.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 93 Comments: 30622
4. ycd0108
1:55 AM GMT on February 06, 2013
Hey Rob:
The Heron likes to fish in the small ponds here. I have seen him/her fly away with a bright orange snack once in a while but the fish generally "sound" when anything looms over the ponds. Heron has to stand on the edge because the ponds are concrete half spheres about 4' radius.
Taking off from this hole in the trees would require some hard work on the bird's part as well so they don't drop in very often.
The memorial Bill was very special to us. Another very long story so "What I wish to record" is the fact that this Heron dropped in that day.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 170 Comments: 4392
3. RobDaHood
1:21 AM GMT on February 06, 2013
Very nice.
One of my favorite birds!
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 93 Comments: 30622
2. ycd0108
12:51 AM GMT on February 06, 2013
Bogon:
I read your link at around noon so I have had a couple of hours to think about it:
Romeo, much as I respect him, would not have made a very good representative of any kind at that time.
I bought his book soon after it was published but could not bring myself to read it till about a year or so ago.
The fact is: I was asked to go in to Rwanda in '94 with MSF. I refused because I was still shattered from the (much less intense) experience in Liberia though I did not know how much less until I read Dallaire's account.
As far as I was concerned I had already Shaken Hands with the Devil.
Sometimes I wish I had found the correct answer to a request like that. By the way the correct answer is: "Yes."
If you can help out.
If you become another casualty you can not help others.
If Romeo was the Prime Minister of Canada today I would not be bitching on my blog.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 170 Comments: 4392
1. Bogon
6:13 PM GMT on February 05, 2013
Bird's the word!

Ycd, I found this and wondered what you would think about it.
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About ycd0108

Now looking at the potential of humans (including myself) with regard to understanding complex natural phenomena.