a quiet day

August 25th, 2010 | Uncategorized

Unfortunately, the mic on my camera failed to pick up the buzz of the hummingbird.

72 Responses to “a quiet day”

  1. Alison, if you actually got Dr. W to help you in ANY way with the wood, puh-leeze share your secret here.

  2. Kate L says:

    And my fifty-four pound harrier hound has never cleaned the house while I’m at work!

  3. khatgrrl says:

    I’ve tried for years to get the cats to mow the lawn…never happened either.

    We were in VT last weekend and I also noticed how quiet it was. No more wrens or thrushes. I instantly missed their songs and calls. The thrushes would start a little after 5:00 A.M. in the summer. No need to mark territory now. I guess that we will have to look forward to their spring return!

  4. Ruth in RI says:

    Loved watching this video, but it made me miss Vermont all over again.

  5. Josh Jasper says:

    You can just make out it’s chirp at around 1:45

  6. brooke says:

    oh! is that a broad-tailed hummer? i love those zings that the male makes. you know, if you have the time and the patience you can train them to eat nectar from your hand.. my friend corinne has hummers eating from her hands – and visitors hands – here in logan canyon (utah). see: http://www.hjnews.com/photography/2009/07/10/humming-birds/ for pictures. if you are interested and have any questions, feel free to email me. i’ve fed them a lot, and these days just go and hang under the feeders.. i’m a christian so i consider it connecting with god. my wiccan friends consider it connecting with the mother goddess and my buddhist friends consider it a form of meditation.

  7. Renee S. says:

    yeah, AB, I dig the sound of blue jays! For some reason, that sound makes me a bit lazy and dreamy. I can see why Dr. W is sleepy.

    @ brooke, #6…those are some fantastic photos of your friend Corinne and the hummingbirds. yes, one with nature. that’s what I call it.

  8. khatgrrl says:

    To the best of my knowledge, we only have ruby-throated hummers in this part of the country.

  9. Brooke! Thanks so much for that link. The photos of Corinne feeding the hummingbirds are incredible!

  10. austin says:

    yes, it’s a Ruby-throated hummingbird.

    You could get Rufous hummingbirds in the summer– they have been expanding thier range North in recent years.

    Please– leave the feeder up until the bird leaves. It’s a myth that leaving the feeder up will keep them from migrating South.

    And bravo for making your own sugar water & not using the pre-made red crap.

  11. JJFlap says:

    i love hearing them buzz around in the back yard- unfortunetly, when they are not at the feeders, those stupid Italian Fruit Wasps hang on it, going after anyone or any animal that goes near it- our dog, Billy Harris got stung on his butt last week!
    I was also wondering about Raffi, Stella, Janis, & Mo-
    Is Raffi still in Iraq, or is he MIA in Afganistan?
    How did Toni tell Clarice that?
    Is Stella with the Medical unit in Iraq?
    How is Janis dioing in Hollywood? Is she working for Tyra?
    Is Sydney still trying to convince Mo to bid on that foreclosed McMansion that is being auctioned off, or will they settle for the split level next to those gay guys?

  12. Ian says:

    What a beautiful, peaceful video! You’re so lucky to live where you do.

    I can’t compete with anything as exotic as hummingbirds today, but I was with a friend and we walked by the river in Chester and looked at the swans. Then we walked back through the park and, without realising it, grey squirrels were coming right up to our hands, thinking we might have nuts for them. We were followed for about 200 yards by one particularly bold squirrel. He was so trusting! Just magical.

  13. ksbel6 says:

    I just love cat yawns.

  14. Acilius says:

    That is one pretty video. Its color scheme reminds me of Godard’s Le Weekend.

  15. Acilius says:

    Oh, here’s some news about a US politician:


    The news is supposed to be that former Republican Party chairman Ken Mehlman has come out of the the closet as gay. The real surprise is that Ken Mehlman was under the impression that he was in the closet. It seemed that every time I saw his name in the news in the 2000s his sexuality was referenced somewhere. Apparently he was the last one to find out.

  16. judybusy says:

    Brooke, thanks for sharing those pictures–amazing. I have been afraid to put up a feeder because of my cats, but seeing that Dr. W doesn’t bother them, I will have to do that next year. And train them to eat out of my hand!

    Acilius, a friend of mine shared a quote by Mehlman wondering why gays haven’t joined forces with Repubs in fighting Islamic extremists–because of their antipathy towads gays….hmmm, why, why, haven’t we done so? Oh, yeah, cuz they’re hell-bent on denying us basic civil rights.

  17. bechadelic1 says:

    Oh that was beautiful and so peaceful… both Alison’s video and the photographs that Brooke shared. Thank you for both. I’m so glad I checked out this blog today.

  18. ready2agitate says:

    Lovely video. AMAZING photos. (How on earth can cameras catch hummingbird wings like that!?) (rhetorical only – not seeking technical info 😉 )

    JJFLAP #11 – thx for the check-in with the DTWOF gang – love it!

  19. Calico says:

    A BIG Callie yawn!
    We had a Blackbird convention in the ‘hood on Tuesday (Cap-Rouge) but today it’s really quiet here as well.
    I love this time of year – there’s a buzz of transformation and electricity in the air.
    I can usually tell the general locations of our cats (and neighbor’s Maine Coon) by listening to the bird songs/alerts.

  20. Marj says:

    Kate L, #205(ish), previous thread: that was amazingly brave. Thank you.

    The humming birds are incredible.

    Round our way, the birds haven’t gone away, but they’ve stopped singing and instead are just cheaping and squawking.

  21. khatgrrl says:

    Kate L, congrats indeed! A very brave thing to do in Smallville.

  22. Kate L says:

    Thanks, everyone, for your kind remarks about my recent actions here in Smallville! A friend of mine the next day was busting at the seams, she was so pleased with me! Gosh, who knows how my life will develop from this junture onward…

  23. Renee S. says:

    @ Kate L.
    Brava! (I’m standing up, clapping my hands)

  24. ksbel6 says:

    @hoh: Concerning Ubuntu load times being slow…it doesn’t bother me, I’m kind of slow 🙂 I usually pop the computer on and then head to the kitchen for a snack and a drink. By the time I get back, its all ready to roll 🙂

  25. Renee S. says:

    Somebody sent me this on Facebook:

    “You can do anything!”


  26. Antoinette says:

    We get flocks of little chickadees that will eat from your hand, but never tried it with hummingbirds.

    My nephew’s daughter calls them “hummingbees”. When the males bicker over a spot at the feeder or favorite tree, they sound like helicopters colliding.

    We make wasp traps out of 2-liter soda bottles using hummingbird nectar as bait. This works pretty good until the pears fall off the tree and the weather is cooler. Then they’re so loopy from chilly morning and fermented pears that you can just shoo them away.

  27. Andrew B says:

    Shameless blogjack: Happy day after Women’s Equality Day, everyone. Echidne has a good comment, as does one of her guest bloggers. Go here and scroll down.

    Aaron McGruder, of the Boondocks, once commented that we celebrate Black History Month every February so that we can forget about black history the rest of the year. I hope that’s not true of Women’s Equality Day.

    Also: anyone who will be anywhere near Boston next Spring really, really needs to check out the events page.

  28. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Andrew B (#27)

    Of course, there’s the classic “Guerilla Girls’ Pop Quiz” poster that explains it all:


    While you’re at it, peruse some of the GG’s other classic posters, such as “The Advantages of Being A Woman Artist” and “Do Women Have To Be Naked To Get Into the Met Museum?”.

    (… goes back to dusting off her gorilla mask …)

  29. judybusy says:

    Unfortunately, this type of tokenism happens all over. There is a small, well-written newspaper in Minneapolis called the Minnesota Women’s Press. In 2008, they featured a lesbian couple on the cover and had a lot of lesbian-related articles–unusual for them. I then realized it was June. I kept an eye over the next year and don’t recall any additional articles featuring or mentioning lesbians. I quit reading it. I also quit reading Lavender, the local gay mag. I believe it’s literally been years since they’ve had a lesbian on the cover. However, I have stopped checking, so it could have happened!

    Please wish me and my partner luck as we travel to my small hometown to celebrate my mom’s birthday–her 70th. A many here can relate, I often feel very alienated and weird going back. My wife of nine years is usually introduced as “my friend.”

    I got a little taste when I hung out with my visiting brother and some of his friends last night. Two comments sum up the mentality: “The wolf population has exploded–something needs to be done.” and “Minnesota, land of 10,000 taxes.” I will try to be a grown-up and keep my mom at center, but I always feel like a long, hot shower when I get home. Thanks!

  30. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    Hummingbirds doing their thing and eating out of your hand, loveliola! Call me a fashionista, but nobody mentioned the fabulous DRESS the feeder had on! I know I’m shallow to notice such a thing, but I used to write the fashion column for our theological school’s student paper. Mostly to warn the femmmes to avoid the navy long skirt and shapeless cardigan that most churchwomen seemed to favor, but I loved that print on our bird feeder.

    And as for going home and needing a long hot shower, we’ve got Thanksgiving coming up, with the requisite visit from Mom, who is very elderly, There will be tons of guilt handed out with the sweet potatoes (and the caramelized shallots, yum!) but I’m not having any, thank you.

  31. freyakat says:

    And of course there is Tom Lehrer’s song from the
    ’60’s “National Brotherhood Week”….. (in re

  32. judybusy says:

    Therry, I noticed the dress right away too! Very cute!

  33. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Therry and St. Jerome (#30)

    Guilt-tripping is a competitive sport in my family. It takes more than a hot shower to get rid of it after contact with the gene pool, but an acid wash is too harsh for the delicate areas. It does keep my therapist gainfully employed, however.

    (… goes back to a glorious day in the Big Apple, too nice to be cooped up in the cube farm …)

  34. Ian says:

    Ugh. Families of origin (as I believe AB once called them) are so stressful. I get so tense and hope for sunny days so I can hide behind my sunglasses.

    It usually takes about a week for the PTSD flashbacks to stop after visiting family, even the nice(r) ones!

    I’m afraid I resort to substances to help me zone out, like either diazepam or alcohol. Dissociation, although not healthy, isn’t the worst coping mechanism on the planet.

  35. Renee S. says:

    Gonna wash that guilt right outta my hair, gonna wash that guilt right outta my hair! Just visited mom yesterday. I’ll be bald soon.

  36. yelena says:

    Oh, how I envy you that quiet day! I spent all day today searching for a bit of quiet – but with street noise, train noise, radio in the dentist’s office, and finally kids talking on the phone in the library…my day in this city has been unpleasantly sonic. I’m not sure I can take another year of this.

  37. Jain says:

    Yelena, there’s a great interview in the September issue of The Sun magazine with Gordon Hempton: on the search for silence in a noisy world. I hadn’t thought.

  38. Calico says:

    Yes, Kate, congratulations!
    Coming out is such a brave and liberating act.
    : D

  39. Kate L says:

    Thanks (Calico, #38), others! My name didn’t make it into the papers, though. Nor my photo, which I would have linked to here so you could see what I look like (I wore a rainbow flag sticker on my lapel!). In fact, the student newspaper on campus dealt in detail with the comments of those against adding LGBT to the local human rights ordinance, and made it appear as if only one person, the president of the human right’s organization I’m secretary for, spoke in favor. It was really mainly comments in favor, by my count. Btw, I’m told that Charles Colson, former Watergate convict and now evangelical radio personality, was ranting against the fact that the Smallville city commission was considering adding LGBT as a protected class. He said that it also would mean businesses here would be required to hire gays and lesbians, and that it would cause the city to pay for sex-change operations. Damn, we were going to wait until next year to suggest all that! 🙂

  40. ksbel6 says:

    @31: That’s what I was going to say…”be happy that it doesn’t last all year!” Oh, and just to be clear, I really do pretty much hate the rich folks.

  41. Feminista says:

    #39 Kate L: Coming to KS in Sept.: American Sueno (Dream),a bilingual play about immigration,homeless and LGBT issues,produced by Teatro Milagro (Miracle Theatre)here in Portland.

  42. Kate L says:

    (Feminista #41) Oh, baby, a taste of the West Coast right here in Smallville? It’ll be like me visiting Berkeley and meeting all the friendly wimmin geologists there all over again! Where all will they be in the Sunflower State?

    Btw, with all the buzz about Republicans storming back to take both houses of Congress in the November 2 “off-year elections” (meaning no presidential election this time), some important new info is being left unreported. Check out this page of congressional party ballot preferences in the most recent nationals polls. Gallup, which this week was widely reported for having the Republicans up by 6 points, now has them up by only half that. More recent polls (by Ipsos/Reuters and Newsweek) have the Republicans up by just one point or tied with the Democrats, respectively. This movement away from the Republicans and to the Democrats may mean that pollsters have begun to adjust their samples for the first-time voters (not usually counted as “likely voters”) that were the source of much of Obama’s strength in the 2008 election, and are also being more inclusive of people primarily dependent on cell phones instead of telephone land lines (perhaps also more likely than us land line dinosaurs to be younger Obama voters). This could be the early indication of a major comeback for Obama’s party if the trend continues through November 2nd. To take back Congress, the Republicans would have to gain as many seats as the Democrats did in 2006 and 2008, when the Democrats were consistently running as much as 35 points ahead of Republicans in these same kind of polls.

    Oh, and Beckapalooza seems to have drawn a respectable crown of about 10,000 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., but it may avail the Republicans not. As a McGovern worker and first-time voter in 1972, I vividly remember liberal Democrat George McGovern’s second to last campaign rally before he got crushed by Richard Nixon in that year’s presidential election. McGovern had a cheering, energetic crowd of thousands at Union Station in Kansas City,a huge, gothic Penn Station – size place. Democrats from all over the country joined him there, and were immensely cheered by McGovern generating that kind of enthusiasm. Later, after the defeat, one of them realized that even a losing national candidate gets millions of votes and can draw that kind of monster crowd, and still go on to lose.

  43. Kate L says:

    Well, needless to say, that’s not the link. It’s a statement from the American Psychological Association (APA) that is being circulated to counter a conservative city commissioner who said earlier this week that the APA considers transsexuals to be mentally ill, and that therefore they should be denied protection in the Smallville human rights ordinance (I know, the conservative commissioner didn’t make much sense, even if the APA statement weren’t actually very supportive of transsexuals). Anyway, HERE is the pollingreport link!

  44. Feminista says:

    Kate L: Productions will be 15-16 Sept.; details @ http://www.milagro.org. Look for “there’s no place like home tour.”

  45. yelena says:

    Jain, I didn’t find that interview you mentioned, but here’s a different one, also on the subject of noise and trying to preserve silence. http://www.greenmuseum.org/generic_content.php?ct_id=226
    Also with Gordon Hempton, acoustic ecologist. (What a great title!)

    Well, today being Saturday, there was not much quiet over in my corner of the city. The opposite: people were having backyard parties with loud music, kids were running around screaming on the stoops. Car passing. Dogs barking. I usually love living in such a vibrant neighborhood, but not today. I need a trip out of town, or a sensory deprivation tank!

  46. Jain says:

    The Hempton interview in greenmuseum was great. The Sun one’s in the September issue–not on line yet.

  47. Mac Guy says:

    Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

  48. Your voice and the sounds of nature turned that moment into a
    meditation. Thanks, Alison. I needed the peace.

  49. Whoa. Armistead Maupin reads here.

  50. Ellen Orleans says:

    Whoa again! Armistead Maupin has a new Tales of the City book coming out in November. What a treat.

  51. Ian says:

    I once missed the chance to go and get my copy of Michael Tolliver Lives signed by Monsieur Maupin at my local feminist bookshop. Fuck.

    *Melts into complete and utter embarrassing-for-everyone fanboyness*

    Thanks for telling us Ellen. I always thought that Mary Ann still hasn’t had the bomb properly fall-out from her very first adventure.

    It’s ok Armi – you can relax now I’ve got it out of my system.

  52. ksbel6 says:

    Tales of the City books are fantastic!!

  53. Walt Whitman says:

    Wow. Was that really Armistead Maupin? This is Alison just testing to see how hard it is to use someone else’s name in WordPress.

  54. Emily Dickinson says:

    Apparently not very. (Alison again.)

  55. WHOA. Emily Dickinson reads here.

  56. Kate L says:

    It’s week 2 of my newly open life. I have noticed a change… womyn geologists* I don’t know are exchanging sly grins or knowing smiles with me. It’s like I was visiting the Berkeley campus, again! What can it mean???

    * – Back in the 70’s when I was an undergraduate, womyn geology majors dressed for the field. Short hair to keep your hair out of your eyes on an outcrop; flannel shirt over a man’s white t-shirt, jeans and hiking boots (Doc Marten’s were the best hiking boots, if you could afford them).

  57. hairball_of_hope says:

    Not only do the literary elite read this blog, this blog brings dead literati back to life. Who’da thunk it?

    (… goes back to her search for Amelia Earhart, I’m sure she’ll show up on this blog Real Soon Now …)

  58. Kate L says:

    …and speaking of Amelia Earhart (hairball #57), is this a good time to recollect that a really nice interaction I had with my sister years ago was when she made a point to drive me by the grass airfield and aerodrome outside Atchison, Kansas, where AE took her first flying lessons as a girl? My sister knew that I was a big Earhart fan!

  59. Philip K Dick says:

    Ah, but Walt and Emily, how do we know you are Walt, Emily, or even Alison? How do we know any of us are real? I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that Maggie Jochild and Kate L are the same people for a while, just the same person whose alternate realities diverged in the early 50s.

    I feel that Kat is Elvis masquerading as a classical musician in Berkeley, and that Lois is the partly transitioned former p0rn star John Holmes.

    OR are you all FBI/CIA bots designed to confuse me and betray my feelings to THEM?

    Who knows …

  60. Feminista says:

    Holy Anna Madrigal! Armistead’s doing a book tour in November,starting on the west coast. **UKers: he’ll be in Bath.** The website gives the specs. Just click on his name above.

  61. Ian says:

    @Feminista(60): In Bath, or The Baths? Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    Bath is a beautiful town. Jane Austen country for those who don’t know. And jokes apart, the Roman Baths are quite something. They’ve been in use since before Roman times as a therapeutic spa. I haven’t been for years.

  62. Kate L says:

    (Philip K Dick #59) I’ve always thought that Maggie was the part of me that followed our heart and went west… but that was back in the late 60’s, not the early 50’s!!! 🙂

    I woke up on the couch late this afternoon hearing all about the REPUBLICAN TIDAL WAVE, up 10% over Democrats in Gallup’s latest generic congressional ballot. Talk about waking up with the House on fire! Various analysts have commented on the week-to-week noise in the Gallup poll, and its skew to land lines over cell phones, and calls to home addresses during the day. Both are likely to artificially suppress the number of younger, pro-Obama voters who get included. That having been said, on Gallup’s web site, I thought they pulled a fast one by omitting every other week’s generic ballot results in their table showing the generic ballot trend over recent weeks, making it look like a constant, week-by-week uptic in Republican support. In fact, the results have been erratic, hence the “noise” criticism. The Gallup organization used to have a liberal reputation, but that hasn’t been true in a while. Not since the late 60’s, in fact. When one of me followed her heart, and headed for that San Francisco scene! 🙂 Wow, this post ended right where it began!

  63. I am 55, so as Kate L’s Doppelganger I went west young dyke in the late 70s, not 60s. I’m a Seventies Dyke down to my no-longer-viable eggs.

    But if I was a FBI/CIA bot, that’s exactly what I would say, isn’t it?

    Ian, I think Walt Whitman would have lived at bathhouses, hiding poppers in his beard and eschewing a towel. But Emily would be a librarian by day, going to meetings at night where she kept track of the phonetree and always brought whole-grain herb bread to the potlucks. In my other life, I’d have had the good sense to bypass the psycho revolitionaries who were so wedded to roles in bed and instead chat up the Emilys who weren’t afraid of immolation once we were between the sheets.

  64. Elvis says:

    Oh shit, you found me out!

  65. Kate L says:

    Btw, another reason why Howard Dean may be right (“Democrats hold the House”) and the latest Gallup Poll (“historic 10% Republican lead in congressional generic ballot”) may be wrong is, the Gallup generic congressional tracking poll is an amalgam of 7 daily polls of about 200 people each. The Newsweek generic congressional ballot poll that shows a tie between the parties and the Ipsos/Reuters generic congressional ballot poll that shows a 1% Republican lead are at least as recent, but are either the same size or twice the size as Gallup’s entire weekly sample, only Newsweek and Ipsos/Reuters were taken over about two days.

  66. Philip K Dick says:

    @MaggieJochild and KateL: Your reality starts before you are even conceived. Time has to sort out bringing your parents together and organise the circumstances of your conception …

  67. Aunt Soozie says:

    Fun thread and sweet video!! I have to show it to my daughter… she’ll love it!! It almost makes Vermont look worth its Winter… but not quite! : )

  68. Aunt Soozie says:

    and I swear… it’s really me… Aunt Soozie

  69. Ian says:

    Aunt Soozie!!!! Where has u beenz?

  70. Aunt Soozie says:

    oh… busy with a thirteen year old…and trying to make enough money in this whack economy to hold onto my over priced house… I’m also in a newish relationship… (you know how that can be) and so distracted by all that ridiculous stuff (work, kid, relationship) that I’m not spending nearly enough time on the internet… also, when I do.. spend time on the internet, must confess… too much time on that evil facebook. 🙂
    speaking of new relationships I really wanted to share this with my DTWOF/ Alison B. fan friends and with YOU, Alison! I’m not sure if it’s hysterically funny or painfully true or both…

  71. shadocat says:

    This just in-now the Phelps’ are saying THEY will burn the Qu’ran this Saturday: