I AM MY CAMERA – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Camera

Ever since I got a couple of bird feeders, I feel like I really am a camera. Because almost the entire east side of this house is windows — and that’s where I’ve put the feeders — the first thing I look for when I open my eyes in the morning are birds.

When I walk to the kitchen to click on the coffee, there are birds. Flocks of them, regardless of the weather. Apparently, birds get hungry even in the rain. Even hungrier when it’s particularly cold.

My little Chickadee
A very fat Slate-colored Junco. I’m amazed he can still fly!

The east end of my dining room table has three cameras lined up on it. I don’t even put the lens caps on them because when you are shooting wild birds, you shoot now or that shot may never come again.

I keep intending to not take any pictures this morning. I’ve got things to do. Stories to write. And all of the pictures I took yesterday still waiting to be processed and turned into a post or story.

Three American Goldfinches unless they are Magnolia Warblers. It takes a lot longer to write about birds when you first have to figure out which bird you are discussing — and so many of them look so much the same!

But there are the birds and there are the cameras and there am I, so … I shoot.

Nuthatch sharing the feeder with a Goldfinch

Yesterday, my new bird field guide came in. I had begun to realize that my book was out of date when I was seeing birds that, according to my guide, don’t live here.

I finally bothered to look at the publication date on my Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Birds and realized it was 1979.

Magnolia Warbler

There have been a few updates since then, the most recent in 2010. I found a used copy (it looks new to me!) and it arrived yesterday.

Philadelphia Vireo? Looks like it (and they are certainly common enough) … but a lot more yellow than shown in the guide. It turns out all birds do not look exactly like the guide’s picture.

I’ve been mesmerized ever since. Phooey on politics. The hell with the news. Pass the camera and I will take bird pictures.

Hello Tufted Titmouse

Mind you when I’m done with the birds, the news is still waiting for me. There’s no escaping it, but at least for however many hours I’m spending processing photographs and trying to figure out which warbler I’m looking at, I’m at peace. I didn’t get the feeders to buy me peace of mind, but oddly enough, that’s exactly what I am getting from them.

Not quite as fat Slate-colored Junco

Just a little bit of peace and the joy of watching things on wings chomping up sunflower seeds, flax, and bits of corn.

I really am a camera.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

9 thoughts on “I AM MY CAMERA – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. “Phooey on politics. The hell with the news. Pass the camera and I will take bird pictures.” Damn, I need to get me some bird feeders and a real camera.


    1. Quite possibly you do. I know it sounds a bit daft, but I swear to you my blood pressure is WAY down. I go into the kitchen to do something and I just get utterly pixelated with birds. And honestly, they make me HAPPY. I’ve always loved animals — all kinds of animals — but these guys are wild, but they’ve really calmed me down a LOT.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’ve made it to “the show” as “The Boid Woman of Uxbridge”. Congratulations. Betcha lots of boid people are envious of your “finds” and pics.


  2. Always have your camera ready, is my motto. Lens caps are a thing of the past. If there is action then shoot and do not dither around organising, especially when the birds are in action.


  3. Ha! I was that way when I first started feeding the squirrels. Lord, the number of pictures I took of them… so many of them blah and boring. I actually positioned the feeder on the tree to where I could watch it from my computer desk out the window. Now I keep the blinds closed and peek out every once in a while…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Birds seem to have that calming effect. I have certainly enjoyed the birds more since I’ve been on my own whether I’m sitting in the pergola listening to them or watching them out the kitchen windows. I always enjoyed hearing them in the mornings but now it’s fun to see the who’s using the apple tree as their summer quarters or to watch the sparrows taking a sandbath under the pergola or trying to see if the plover family have got any chicks.


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