Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Winter Chickadees

This photo was originally posted on Tuesday, March 30, 2010 in my post, "A Time Of Chickadees"
I felt energetic enough to go on another winter hike recently. Right away I encountered a small flock of black-capped chickadees. They turned out to be the only animals I saw that day. But, oh, what a wonderful feeling they gave me!

You see, these little chickadees have given me a great gift. It's the gift of knowledge. When I entered the edge of the forest, I heard familiar little peeping sounds in the trees. And for the very first time I immediately knew what kind of bird was making them! As expected, these tiny little birds with black caps showed themselves. And without conscious thought I knew that these were indeed black-capped chickadees! I am now becoming what I wanted ever since I began my adventures into the natural world!

I know I still have so very long to go before I may finally feel like some kind of expert, if that really ever does happen. I mean, does our learning ever really stop? I know mine never will. But I still feel a sense of accomplishment. I knew what I was hearing and seeing without having to go home and study.

These next two pictures, the one above and the one below, are the best of the bunch of the pictures I got on this recent adventure. They are bad, and I know it. But we can all see that they are indeed chickadees. It was a dark day, but my energy was good, so I went out.

The darkness of the day and my lack of practice turned out to be the downfall of my camera. I just couldn't quite get the camera to focus on the birds. I knew the whole time that I would not get good pictures, but I was still happy because I did have the opportunity. And that's all that matters to me right now. It was so fun!

There have been better days recently to go on a hike, and I've had the energy, but other obligations have stopped me from my favorite activity. Whether I feel good or bad right now, my health takes priority over everything else. So now I will give a promised health update, since many of you said you still wanted them, and because of some developments on my end.

My neurologist finally decided to speed things up a bit, and he sent me for an MRI on my brain. My regular doctor also insisted that I go. So yesterday was the day. When I got there, they had me lay on a table that was connected to a big machine and hooked me up to an IV. Once I was ready, they moved the table into the machine, for what seemed like an eternity but was really a half hour. I laid in there hearing all kinds of banging, whirring, vibrating, and many other loud machine noises.

Then they finally pulled me back out of there and it was all over. I won't know if they found anything until a few more days. This is just one of many trips to doctors I've had over the past week and a half. This has all kept me very busy, and I'm not finished at all. Next comes the memory test. I don't think I'll do very well on that one.

But back to the fun stuff. I'm going to try to go back out hiking in the next few days. Hopefully I can choose a time of day when more animals are out. I have the good kind of anticipation this time. I have also written another story over at Rat Tales. This is the beginning of a long serial that I've been wanting to write for a long time. I've had this one in my mind since before I was even an adult. I'm very excited about telling it. It's the one Rat Tales was always intended for.

I also hope to make my presence known in the blogging world in the next few days, until my next doctor's appointment. I'm happily anticipating reading some of your blog posts a little more thoroughly. One of my favorite pastimes that I have been missing more than you'll ever know.

One last thing for today. We have an extra special Nature Site Of The Week up at Nature Center Magazine today, Photography By Ginny. Ginny is one of my very favorite people in the blogging world, and her pictures are always the very best. It was her blog I was thinking of when I thought up the concept for Nature Site Of The Week. I'd like for each and every one of you to take a look at her blog and say hi.

Nature Center Magazine - This week we are featuring the blog that is the inspiration for Nature Site of The Week. We only waited this long so we could show it to the most readers possible.


  1. Well, Ratty, I'm glad you are feeling so much better. You sound better anyway and your joy at getting out among the critters you love definitely shows. It's good that you had the MRI and, perhaps, they will be definitive that you are on the mend! Or they will get a diagnosis if you need further treatment!

    I had an MRI when I was in the hospital in June...this last November, visit, I just had a CT scan. All this fancy technology is phenomenal AND expensive!

  2. Dear Ratty..
    NIce post..
    I like angle to shoot your bird..
    always succses for your blog..

  3. You've come a long way Ratty. Not only in your adventures but in your recuperation. So glad that you had a fun time out in nature and getting the pictures.

  4. I'm glad you had a chance to get out to nature, Ratty, and hopefully the MRI could solve the mystery..

    Have a wonderful New Year!

  5. Oh Ratty, the chickadee is my very favorite bird. I can always tell they are around by their unique chirping. They are also a tiny bit friendly. They love bird feeders which I can't have right now because too many cats. But they are great fun to watch.
    Glad you are feeling better now. Hope the MRI has good results.

  6. "I did have the opportunity." --> Ratty- you've nailed the important part, right there. To have that opportunity to go out, even if the pictures aren't great, or even if we don't see anything new. Those are the icing on the cake!

    Ginny does take great pix!

    Please do let us know about the tests. We care.

  7. You are right about never learning never stopping.If you saw my library of just nature books I can verify it will never cease until I do.Your camera allows you to bring home questions and solve them.Look for books that are state specific, they are fun to use.

  8. lovely pictures of the birds Ratty...I really need to start getting back out and taking some photos again, I used to do it alot but don't seem to have so much time these days.
    Look forward to hearing about the new adventures you come across with the hikes you have planned and fingers crossed for your results!!

  9. Glad that you are back.

    While your doctor is examining you, you are having a close watch on the birds.

    This is what we call life.

  10. Here is what my human says: "Even if you were in practice it would have been hard to take a good photos of the chickadees - because of the dark day, you no doubt had a narrower depth of field, plus the camera had a hard time focusing because the birds in the midst of those busy branches were hard for the focus point to find." I suppose she is right.

    Do let us know what your doctors have to say. We readers think about you often!

  11. Hey Ratty, cool little bird! It's always tough to take pictures amongst so many branches at different distances.

    Your trail posts inspire me, I'm bringing the camera next time I have a hike!

  12. Hi Ratty.

    I hope you had a great Christmas!

    Happy New Year! :-)


  13. How nice of you to feature Ginny's blog...I love it too...she takes photos of so many neat critters! And I LOVE her Cardinals!

  14. How nice that you are making progress, Ratty! I know that you were discouraged for a bit, but now I can see real improvement!! Hooray! Be easy on your old self. The human body (and brain) is very fragile and it took a beating. I'm just very happy to see you back out again and blogging. I think you are turning a HUGE corner! I hope you get good results from your test.