Warblers, Dogs, and Big Camera Lenses

Yellow Warbler

Today was beautiful but very windy. This Traveler, grabbed her camera and headed out early. I was out most of the day.

Yellow Warbler

I have to state here that dogs love me. Other peoples dogs really love me. I've been adopted by my neighbor's bull dog on numerous occasions as she followed me back to my home instead of her own. Trying to convince her to return to her owner is always interesting.... If there is a dog out on the trail I happen to be walking on, it will find me. Today, a lot of them did. I think I've been jumped on, pawed by, and had my crotch sniffed by every dog on the South Shore. One enterprising Golden Retriever even dropped a log at my feet and then looked up at me hopefully, asking me to throw it. Had it been a stick I would have, but since it was half a tree I had to explain that it was out of the question.

Male Cowbird

Now, I've also discovered something else that deals with attraction. I am female and I have discovered something men can't resist: A really BIG camera lens. They are drawn to them like moths to a flame. Now, usually I'm holding something like a Nikkor 80-400 VR, good for handshooting birds/wildlife but very slow to focus, thus I sort of have a love/hate relationship with it. And it is not exactly a big lens when it comes to wildlife photography but with the lens hood on it looks more impressive than it actually is. Usually, I find myself being told by various males what a nice BIG lens I have. Most of these guys feel the need to stop and talk about the largeness of my camera lens, usually as their dog is jumping all over me or chewing on my pant leg or something. Sometimes, I end up having very interesting conversations. Like the one I had this morning. We will call the guy Jim Bob.

Jim Bob: "That's a big lens you have there.
Me: "Kind of."
Jim Bob: "You shooting ospreys?"
Me (knowing that within 100 yards of us there are several species of warblers, orioles, blackbirds, mocking birds, swallows, and at least one heron but no ospreys, in fact had never seen an osprey in this particular location. I was also thinking that in these 30 mph plus winds no raptor in its right mind would be fishing at that moment because it would get blown into next Tuesday): "No."
Jim Bob: "Was a guy out here the other day with a lens a lot bigger than yours. HE was shooting ospreys."
Me: "Well, if I see an osprey I'll shoot it."
Jim Bob: "So what ARE you shooting?"
Me: "Warblers."
A blank look comes across Jim Bob's face. I point out the tiny, 3 inch yellow birds flitting amongst the leaves in a tree next to us. Jim Bob looks from my big but not BIG enough camera lens and then back to the very small bird. He looks back at me. Then he snorts in disgust and walks away. Apparently, my camera, my birds, and myself didn't measure up.

Female Cowbird


Green Darner

Green Darner

Baltimore Oriole hanging upside down.