Monthly Archives: May 2010

There were many tornados in Oklahoma on Monday, May 10, 2010

I live in Oklahoma City. On Monday, we were watching weather coverage on television to determine when and if we needed to get into our tornado shelter under our garage floor. One tornado came very close to our house and it was very scary.

Some people in Oklahoma died, and many more lost homes or had damage to their homes making them temporarily unlivable.

Being alive and safe with an intact house after an experience like that seems to put things into perspective. All we had was hail damage to our roof which our insurance will mostly cover.

All day long Monday, I was having problems with some computer software. When the tornadoes started coming, suddenly computer problems did not feel important any more.

I am mostly taking a little bit of time off the computer yesterday and today and taking some time to count my blessings….

Back soon…

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Bird watching at my backyard goldfish pond – Another nature study

This is my goldfish pond. The plants are coming back to life after a long winter’s nap:

My backyard goldfish pond

The birds in my neighborhood come often for a drink or a bath. I sat outside yesterday with our dinky digital camera and tried to get some pictures:

Mourning Dove:

Mourning Dove at my goldfish pond

This is some variety of Ring-Necked Dove. They are not indigenous here. I figure some escaped from an aviary and set up a population:

Ringnecked Dove at my goldfish pond

Male European House Sparrow:

Male House Sparrow

Two male Great Tailed Grackles. One is trying to get the other to play “who is more macho”. Whoever can stretch his neck the highest wins:

Two male Great Tailed Grackles

An American Robin in our waterfall stream:

American Robin

I noticed this grackle going around my pond and pulling out seed pods. These seed pods blow out of trees and travel pretty far like helicopters. She must be using them for nesting material. She came back several times to gather more:

Great Tailed Grackle cleans my goldfish pond

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There are two Windows Live Essentials programs that I cannot live without: Windows Live Writer and Windows Live Photo Gallery…

Download Windows Live Writer Windows Live Writer is one of the Windows Live Essentials programs. Writer makes writing blog entries so easy! It is a wonderful “What you see is what you get” editing program. I have several blogs, and it is a breeze to post to my various blogs with Windows Live Writer.

As Writer’s download page says, Windows Live Writer can be set up to work with “WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, and many more” in addition to the blog in Windows Live Spaces.

Please see a previous post of mine for how to set up Windows Live Writer to work with your blog:

Download Windows Photo Gallery The other Windows Live Essentials program I cannot live without is Windows Live Photo Gallery. Photo gallery makes organizing my photos so easy!

Among other things, Photo Gallery program actually recognizes faces in your photos, and asks you their names! See this post for more information about using People Tags:

All of the Windows Live Essentials programs are very useful, but Windows Live Writer and Windows Live Photo Gallery are the ones that I cannot live without!

Thank you, Windows Live Essentials!

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Bird watching in my backyard – Rats. I came very close to getting a nice picture of a goldfinch

I went out the other day to take a picture of the water lily pads that have come up so far this season. Right when I was holding the camera, a goldfinch landed on our waterfall, and flew right away again. I did not have time to focus or zoom. Dang. This is what I got:

Goldfinch at the waterfall of my goldfish pond

Here is a close-up. I can’t zoom in closer than that or it gets grainy. As I said before, rats:

Goldfinch at the waterfall of my goldfish pond

Around here, I see a goldfinch once or twice each spring. They just pass though on the way to someplace else. I’m happy I was able to get this picture, even though it is not a close-up.

I have a lot of different species of birds who come to my pond, and I’ve tried to take pictures of them all, but the camera is not always with me at the right time.

Some years back, a great egret, a bird three feet tall, landed on my roof and looked down at my pond, thinking about eating my fish. That is one time I did not have a camera with me.

I did, however, get a couple of pictures of the great blue heron, also three feet tall, who came day after day to eat my goldfish…

The Great Blue Heron who ate a third of my goldfish before I caught him in the act

As I said in this post,

I am having mixed feelings about the magnificent Great Blue Heron that’s been visiting our goldfish pond…

I had mixed feelings as a birdwatcher on one hand and a Pet Mom on the other hand. But, I got some pictures of him that are on that post.

I tried a contraption that did not work. It is called a “Koi Kastle”. Read about it here: The squeaky wheel pays no return shipping charges

Also see this post that has the solution to the problem: That great blue heron is never going to eat my fish again!

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