A Very Miscellaneous Week

Sunday night, looking to another week upon us. Isn’t this year just sailing by.

It’s been a real mish mash this week but I am into two books and I feel the need to read upon me. Some snippets from the week.

Visiting Hours

Our dog Ollie injured his cruciate ligament and had a big surgery on Thursday. Those of you who know dogs will know how much care a post surgical dog takes. One rough coated Jack Russell who is used to having his own way most of the time and never holding still. One who is now confined to a pen with a cone around his neck and enough pain meds to stop a horse. Forget our bank balance. Thank goodness for pet insurance is all I can say.

Birding Without Borders : An Obsession, A Quest, and the Biggest Year in the World - Noah Strycker

One day last week I was invited to go on a morning photography excursion to photograph birds. I haven’t done specific bird photography before but I do have a long lens and with two friends we spent a lovely morning hunting birds. Photographers can be divided into two types of people. The hunters and the fishermen. The hunters stalk their photos, walking for miles or climbing hills looking for the photo. Fishermen sit still for hours waiting for the photo to come to them. Thursday we started out hunting but ended up fishing. I got a good shot of a silver eye and several more of swallows. Ever try to photograph swooping, flying swallows? It’s very difficult but fun trying. Will share a photo of swallows in another post but here is the silver eye.

We met three old men taking their morning stroll on the track we were walking on. One asked if we wanted to photograph 3 old buzzards. Then another one told us he had just seen a “red headed blackberry picker” up the track. They were just full of it. Nice to see them enjoying themselves.

Once home I pulled a birding, travel book off my shelf and began it. Birding Without Borders by Noah Strycker.

The blurb states: Noah Strycker set himself a goal: to become the first person to see half the world’s 10,000 species of bird in one year.

With an itinerary covering 41 countries, spanning all seven continents, and armed with a backpack, binoculars, and a series of one-way tickets, he sets out on the greatest adventure in the birding world. Along the way he meets a colorful cast of fellow birders—and discovers a world of blood-sucking leeches, chronic sleep deprivation, floods, war zones, ecologic devastation, and conservation triumphs.

Vivid, charming, and full of wonder, Birding Without Borders is a celebration of passion, exploration, and the birders’ ethos that, if you keep your eyes and mind open, you never know what you might see

The other book I’m reading and enjoying is Atomic Habits by James Clear. I wanted to read something that was motivational to fall in line with motivation for my health and fitness. I enjoy my weight class and fitness work …..once I am there. It is getting there with enthusiasm I need to work on. I’d heard a lot of good things about this book and I am not a self help book fan but I am enjoying this very much. I am listening to it on Audible and have it on whenever I’m in the car which lately has been a lot.

For the foreseeable future…. My plans are to continue to get my book enthusiasm back and make time for one day a week to do more bird photography.

When attending university in Michigan years ago I took an ornithology class as everyone there had to do at least 2 yrs of basic courses before deciding on a major and minor. Part of the final exam consisted of 25 tape recorders and sets of headphones of bird calls that had to be identified. I have always wanted to be able to identify more birds and their calls in Australia, especially the small ones. This could very well be a bonus to the photography. We’ll see how it goes. I know a lot of American birds but now I might learn about more Australian ones.

The other night I went to see the book launch of Heather Rose’s newest book. It was to begin at 5:30 pm. However when I arrived, there was a cast of thousands, many seats reserved by her so the rest of us had to sit in the back, overcrowded with recording equipment and cameras and very bright spotlights. This particular room holds 80 people but there must have been twice that with very few wearing masks. Heather continued to make her way around a myriad of people, chatting, hugging. More chatting and more hugging. Well that day Ollie had his surgery. I had been on the photography excursion in the morning, later having discussions with the vets. I was tired and I couldn’t cope with all the mayhem around this particular book launch.

Author Heather Rose and Tim, Owner-Manager Fullers Book shop

Fullers are very good at keeping launches from 5:30 to 6:15 then time for questions and out the door just past half past. Most authors who are well attended have a party or large gathering elsewhere or just stay on after the launch but this had already begun. This author would leave the room, come back, sit down and chat some more to old friends and acquaintances. At 6:10 I’d had enough. Tim, the manager of Fullers was herding cats. There were so many people, many who were quite elderly all waiting for her to start and she just didn’t. There has been so much hype about this book. Anyway, I walked out at 6:10 and went home. I’m sure the talk would have been good but I really think she should have just begun earlier and then talked to everyone who wanted to talk to her or she wanted to catch up with after the event. Many people there were not friends of hers. I like to keep perspective. It’s a book launch for one book not the coronation of King Charles. I thought it was ridiculous but others may disagree and I was tired and it was hot in the room. So moving forward.

Well, I guess that catches you up on the week. Here’s hoping I enjoy the books, Ollie continues to heal and get rid of the cone and none of us catch the new strains of Covid. I won’t even mention the cruise ships that have been dumping people on our shores this week. With Covid people quarantining on board the ship.

I hope everyone is staying well and enjoying books and anything else of interest to you. I’m also enjoying a few days of 20 degrees C and NO rain. All the best…..

The silver eye who is very camouflaged.

13 thoughts on “A Very Miscellaneous Week

  1. Oh dear poor Ollie! I hope he’s doing much better by the time you read this.

    I’m sorry for all the nonsense at the book event, but it made for a great read. I was laughing so much.
    At 6:10 I’d had enough….It’s a book launch for one book not the coronation of King Charles….Hahahahahaha!


  2. Bird hunting should keep you fit, all that walking. Not moving will be the death of me I’m sure. I read a review of Rose’s new book – the Museum one was amazing – but I’m not sure this memoir is for me.
    No crowds for me if I can help it. Flying Darwin-Melb-Perth-Darwin last month I was nearly always the only one masked. Hey guys, just because the government has given up, doesn’t mean the pandemic is going away.


  3. Birding and taking bird pictures is fantastic, and the fun an even start in your backyard – at least in mine, though I live in a suburb of Chicago.
    I got a good camera with a nice zoom and enjoy taking pictures. Then I make my own bird calendar for the year and offer it to a few friends as well.
    This book has been for too long on my TBR!


  4. LOL Pam, I would not have lasted until 6.10pm!
    Poor Ollie… it’s all the jumping up that little dogs do. Both my previous Silkies had their cruciate ligaments done, all four ops ‘conveniently’ timed (not) to coincide with our travel plans! So I’m just waiting for Amber to need it too, she’s just as wilful about jumping up on the furniture.
    I’ll second what Tina says about the recovery. Neither Topaz nor Sapphire had any arthritis and lived to a ripe old age… still jumping up on the furniture!
    Get well soon, Ollie!
    PS The photo of the silver-eye isn’t showing.


  5. Poor Ollie! I do hope he’s better soon!!!

    As for the talk, I would have been the same as you and left. I’m not comfortable in crowded spaces nowadays anyway, but to keep people waiting like that seems wrong – if an event is advertised for a specific time, it should stick to that as far as possible and then if people want to stay on afterwards that’s up to them.

    Anyway, your reading sounds fascinating and that’s a lovely bird image!!


  6. Hello, I have not commented before but read your posts via Feedly. When I saw what you are going through with Ollie I just had to comment. Our shiba inu Aja had the same surgery and the recovery was quite time consuming, I know where you’re coming from! The first few nights I sat up with her as she slept on her dog bed, cone on her neck, carried her outside to pee when she’d awaken.

    I don’t know where you are in recovery mode but if Ollie doesn’t overdo it, he will heal well. One Aja’s first few walks she would toe tap the ground. We never let her walk too much so she’d heal. She was 17 when we did the surgery. Here is a link to my girl after surgery if you’d like to see.

    Best of luck with Ollie’s recovery and keeping him still 🙂
    Also, I like the book Birds without Borders, I have that one.



    1. Thank you for your dogfish story. Seems many dogs have enjoyed this experience. I see you live in Florida. We lived in Ft Myers from 1973 to 1988. My sister lives there now and just went through the hurricane. She is fine but amazed at the destruction. Stay well.


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