The Transfiguration

everything is sacred

Archive for the ‘birds’ Category

Landing of the Day #2572

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Landing of the Day #2572

The seagull’s participation in this photo was a lucky accident, but I wish I’d waited just a fraction of a second longer to close the shutter; she deserves a more significant place in the frame. She and other seagulls landed on the rails by John and me as we ate lunch, their beaks dripping with seawater, as if they’d been hunting for fish instead of foraging for stray french fries.

What did seagulls eat before humans started leaving their food everywhere?

The gulls weren’t the only birds out at the wharf today, either. A few fearless pigeons ambled around the edge, looking for snacks with a somewhat more gawk-eyed expression than the seagulls. One crow showed up, a stark shadow next to the other birds, and a tiny singing bird appeared by our feet as well. I am used to seeing all these different species in their own niches, giving the place a particular flavor; there must have been an avian conference somewhere nearby.

This is such an “almost” photo – maybe I’ll get that perfect shot someday.

voices through the walls

Written by Umbrella Man

October 7, 2015 at 10:56 pm

Posted in animals, birds

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Doves of the Day #2420

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Doves of the Day #2420

Today was somehow a very easygoing day at work, with exceptional birthday cake after lunch and games of pool, foosball and cornhole at the end of the day. I’d like to just end the week lightly, then.

These two pigeons seemed rather cuddly by the fountain, and each had odd little tufts of white feathers on their heads, as if they were stuffed animals that had split a seam. Let’s hope they had a good Friday, as well.

smashville

Written by Umbrella Man

May 8, 2015 at 11:12 pm

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King of the Day #2404

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King of the Day #2404

John and I ate by the water again, talking about code and work and where to go next in life. His job is not the sort of challenge he was hoping for, but he seems to be getting by well enough now.

Throughout our lunch the seagulls perched on the wooden pier rail, feigning disinterest in our food. Eventually they gave up and left, soon replaced by fat pigeons; just one gull remained, seated on the lamppost above us. He preened and stretched and painted the pavement while we talked, content with his throne. When I stood on the bench to get this haphazard shot, he stared right at me – the only moment he acknowledged my existence.

I wonder if there are any studies in comparative bird psychology – seagulls and pigeons must have very different cultures.

such a long time ago

Written by Umbrella Man

April 22, 2015 at 11:46 pm

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Fluff of the Day #2318

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Fluff of the Day #2318

I spotted this fellow perched atop the fountain near work, letting the water run between his toes. Now and then he would give a more hearty splash, and his wet feathers took on this ruffled appearance; it makes for a very grouchy-looking bath.

I love when birds take advantage of our fountains. Someone really has to, if humans are going to be too aloof to do any splashing themselves.

you came to me genuinely

Written by Umbrella Man

January 27, 2015 at 12:00 am

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Falls of the Day #2180

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Falls of the Day #2180

I had lunch again by the fountain this afternoon, alone this time, and watched the water and the gulls enjoy their afternoon. It was hot out, but only gently, so the heat slowly built up over the course of my meal, and watching the birds stomp around in the water had a strange vicarious sort of relief to it.

I always love watching the shapes that water will take. This is as good a way as any to clear my mind of code-clutter over a break.

will it be complete

Written by Umbrella Man

September 10, 2014 at 11:07 pm

Posted in animals, birds, water

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Oasis of the Day #2179

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Oasis of the Day #2179

I took my lunch break with Anna today, since we both prefer to escape to the park for our time away from the screen. I usually sit on the grass, and she takes the bench in a faraway nook; between the two is this little oasis above the falls, where seagulls like to come and gargle. It’s a lovely spot, a little bit of magic in a crowded and noisy city.

This was the first day since the very first day that I’ve gone to lunch with any of the other students. It seems like something that should happen more often – I miss the old lunch hours at Berkeley High.

you are the truth

Written by Umbrella Man

September 9, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Posted in animals, birds, places, water

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Creature of the Day #2146

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Creature of the Day #2146

These little black birds were such an important part of my time at SF State – it makes me so happy to see them again now. I keep stopping in the street, kneeling close, whenever I happen by a bird, just to admire it for a moment.

I feel, oddly, like I’ve been getting better at seeing birds recently. Not in the sense that my eyes are better, but I’m somehow noticing more about them – their little motions, the steps they take, the frills in their feathers. It makes it seem, in comparison, like I hardly saw them at all when I was younger.

Watching them move, it’s hard to believe that it took so long for people to realize they were dinosaurs.

ain’t no mountain

Written by Umbrella Man

August 7, 2014 at 11:38 pm

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