Monday, January 23, 2006

Extra Special Double Monday Bonus Post: Wildlife Edition

You may recall that a few posts ago we showed you our backyard visitor, this guy:

Duplicate picture, not a repeat visit

At the time, we speculated that our hawk was actually a falcon, or maybe it was a hawk after all. Truth is, we had no idea what it was. Thankfully, a lot of people in our family are smarter than we are, or have better bird books, or both. Over the weekend, a very informative phone call was placed to us by Mom Angle and Nick. Nick found a description in one of his books of the Northern Marsh Hawk, also known as the Harrier. No, not this Harrier; while they are certainly cool one of them would have done substantially more damage to our backyard than our feathered friend. When Mom asked if our backyard visitor had a head that looked like an owl (even though it clearly wasn't an owl), we knew we had a winner. The striped tail, the spotted back, all key features. They can range into Georgia during the winter, and often have variations in head color which would explain why ours was buff in the head while most of the harriers you see in pictures are brown.

So there you have it, mystery solved. Not a falcon. Yes, a hawk, but specifically a marsh hawk, also known as a harrier.

Gabe goes back to that place where they make him cry

Today was Gabriel's 18 month doctor's visit. Unfortunately for the Chipster, that also meant the injection of several immunizations into his year and a half old body. Of course Gabriel handled it like a champ. The really good news is that our skinny little child has moved up from the 10th percentile in weight to the 25th percentile (he must be getting his height from a grandparent or great-grandparent, since he's at an oustanding 75th percentile in "tallitude"). We left armed with some new techniques for getting Gabriel to eat something other than oatmeal or yogurt (techniques that are much easier for the doctor to tell us about since he doesn't have to sit through the consequences) and we'll see how that goes over the next few weeks.

We always forget Tylenol on immunization days, but thankfully our doc has a supply on hand

There's no substitute for a little comfort from mommy

When we returned home, a little something we'd found online had been delivered to our door.

We want to say that we absolutely adore our Minolta Maxxum and intend to keep using it as our main picture taking device... well, other than the digital so that we can provide you, gentle reader, with copious images of our son. We love the newness of it and all the automatic features and the fact that you can turn it over to complete manual control.

However, we've been talking a lot about learning how to take better pictures and how we'd like to take more black and white. We have been looking for a really good bargain on a second film camera, a manual advance camera, for a while now and a week or so ago Patty found this particular gem on eBay for a really, really, really inexpensive price. It was essentially a steal and we snapped it up (get it? snapped... camera... eh, nevermind). It arrived today and we can't wait to start using it. In the next month or so look for a bunch of artsy-fartsy type pictures and some in black and white (nevermind the fact that we could, actually, turn any picture that we take with the digital camera into a black and white, that's just too easy).

It's in great shape

And has a nifty 50mm lens

Nobody's going to complain about more pictures of Gabriel, are they?