ingrid

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Rilke in a Seattle Autumn

I first read Rainer Maria Rilke one autumn in "Letters to a Young Poet" -- a book handed off to me with pages stained by office carbons. Rilke's letters to Franz Kappus, published by Kappus after Rilke's death, are sympathetic and inspired. There's a reason this collection finds its way to the paws of young writers, as it did mine that fall day. Everything is gestation and then birthing. To let each impression and [...]

2019-02-01T01:26:27+00:00November 25th, 2013|Blog|9 Comments

The White and the Blue [Birds]

First there was Blue. She came to us from the great blue, the wild blue, as blue as Lightin' Slim, singing pigeon blues, not Rooster Blues. She came on banded foot, born of two other Blues who gave our Blue her azul feathers and fuchsia feet ... in a lineage that swept back through the blueness of her grandparents and past the great grandparents before them. They all commanded the skies and taught Blue, [...]

2019-02-01T01:27:05+00:00November 20th, 2013|Blog, Popular Posts|23 Comments

Welcome Home, Seattle Ducks!

I spotted my first migratory ducks on the urban shores of Elliott Bay last week. The new arrivals are on edge -- wary and easy to flush. Lifting my lens is enough to send them skittering to the middle of the bay, and I can only imagine what sights and sounds have jarred them into high alert on their long journey home. I think of how far the winter ducks soar, finally dipping into [...]

2019-02-01T01:56:38+00:00November 15th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

The Legend of the White Gallopavo

The color white represents catharsis in alchemy. It's the point at which a blackened substance, through heat and reactivity, develops a white crust and then puffs into a cloud inside the alchemist's flask. It's the stage at which future possibilities become apparent as a material is transformed from one to the other. And it's symbolized by a white swan or white eagle. In Arthurian tales, it was believed the elusive white hart (or stag) [...]

2019-02-01T02:00:02+00:00October 21st, 2013|Blog|10 Comments

Fly Away Home (and Safe) … on crippling rates in duck hunting

This is my annual re-post -- on the first weekend of waterfowl hunting season in both Washington (where I'm living now) and California (my home). I've been lightly tweaking the post each year, adding new information or links.My reason for re-posting this piece is to bring attention to some of the lesser discussed aspects of duck hunting. The most significant issue for me is the enormous injury rate in all wing shooting -- a facet [...]

2019-02-01T02:27:45+00:00October 20th, 2013|Blog, Popular Posts|37 Comments

Going All Micro Four Thirds on Wildlife

Update - November 1, 2016: I get many emails and comments related to this post -- from people interested in micro four thirds (m43) and mirrorless cameras as a wildlife format. I've been shooting with Olympus m43 gear exclusively now for three years and haven't been tempted to switch. In the interim, the gear I'm now using is the OMD E-M1, with my original E-M5 as a backup body. The lenses I've used in the [...]

2019-02-01T02:31:31+00:00October 1st, 2013|Blog|49 Comments

Taking a Break to Mend a Chip in My Heart …

I've been absent from this space more than I've been here, my heart consumed with care for our four-legged kid. We've been nursing our beloved girl, Jackie, through an acute form of leukemia -- and she lost her battle yesterday, bundled in a fleece, huddled in our arms. To say that we are heartsick is likely the greatest understatement I’ll ever make. She was so much a part of our world that no decision, [...]

2019-02-01T02:36:16+00:00August 25th, 2013|Blog|23 Comments

Gull Chicks and Gateway Birds

"When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not."~ Artist Georgia O'Keeffe Gulls are among the birds I call "gateway birds." They're common and accessible. They [...]

2019-02-01T02:37:15+00:00August 1st, 2013|Blog, Popular Posts|22 Comments

The Hierarchy of Disagreement

I came upon this graphic the other day, illustrating the Hierarchy of Disagreement -- with seven stages of argumentation based on the Paul Graham essay, How to Disagree. Excerpt: If we're all going to be disagreeing more, we should be careful to do it well. What does it mean to disagree well? Most readers can tell the difference between mere name-calling and a carefully reasoned refutation, but I think it would help to put names on [...]

2019-02-01T02:40:55+00:00July 23rd, 2013|Blog|15 Comments

The Magical Mystery Tour of Tent Caterpillars

When I saw the first signs of tent caterpillars outside our flat, I kept the sighting to myself. We have a neighbor, a home owner just up the hill who screams at crows -- and who dead-heads her plants to the point of denuding them. I knew if she saw this tiny tent on the fir tree, she'd make short work of the squirmers inside. This spring we had what's called an "outbreak" of [...]

2019-02-01T02:41:39+00:00July 14th, 2013|Blog, Popular Posts|11 Comments

Faces of the 18th Weir

They sit suspended at the 18th weir, these scaled faces in the sockeye crowd. It's the window to their water world, the portal from ocean to stream to lake, where their gills remember the taste of fresh after years in the salty sea -- and where they lead -- at least in part -- by magnetic memories of the gravel beds where they were born. They're surging forward across the solstice and into summer [...]

2019-02-01T05:43:48+00:00July 1st, 2013|Blog|4 Comments

Clever, Corrugated Starlings

With starlings, I am often an outlier, even among people who share my conservation ethics and love for wildlife. That's because I appreciate starlings in a way that defies conventional dislike for the species in the United States. I wrote about this in a 2009 post about European Starlings and their introduction to the U.S. in the late 19th century: "Starlings are related to Mynahs, both in the family Sturnidae. They’re exceptional mimics. In [...]

2019-02-01T05:57:50+00:00June 20th, 2013|Blog|23 Comments

Sleeping With the Fishes

This isn't the first time I've seen an Osprey napping with a fish in his talons. Last year, while observing the platform way across Seattle's long-abused-but-recovering Duwamish River I watched a male Osprey land on a utility pole, clutching a half-eaten meal. A crow who'd been tailing the Osprey, landed alongside. The Osprey perched, adjusted -- then appeared to doze off. The crow who'd been haranguing him for some leftovers seemed to be in [...]

2019-02-01T06:05:23+00:00June 16th, 2013|Blog|5 Comments

In Their Own Words … Protecting Gray Wolves From Their Haters

Photo: John and Karen Hollingsworth/USFWS - Creative Commons License One way to illustrate what's at stake in removing protections from gray wolves, is to quote the people who've effectively been given legal license to kill them. I will not link out to their websites or Facebook fan pages (some of which have thousands of fans -- one has more than 18,000), but I can assure you this rhetoric is frequently accompanied by gruesome imagery [...]

2019-02-01T06:13:00+00:00June 13th, 2013|Blog|17 Comments

A Pelagic Housewarming Gift

I should stop making excuses for shooting in damp, dark conditions. It is, after all, the Pacific Northwest. But, well ... I was shooting in damp, dark conditions, standing on the car deck of a Washington State Ferry at Anacortes, in an ISO 5000 drizzle. Hugh -- who's become a better bird spotter than I am -- pointed to the air traffic around the nearby terminal pilings. It was Pelagic Cormorant mania -- a [...]

2019-02-01T06:17:02+00:00June 9th, 2013|Blog|3 Comments

Please Brake for Birds

It seems like common sense ... to slow or stop the car if you see an animal on the road. But, in recent weeks, I've had several incidents where birds were clearly in harm's way and people refused to either stop or take even 30 seconds off their commute to let an animal exit the roadway. The first was a situation of Canada Geese guiding their powder-puff goslings across a busy arterial. The crossing [...]

2019-02-01T06:24:23+00:00June 8th, 2013|Blog|5 Comments

Great Blue Resilience

A few weeks ago, I walked by the Great Blue Heron rookery a short distance from our place. I expected to see the six or eight heron couples, draped over their nests in anticipation of egg hatching ... or maybe even the first raspy calls of young chicks rustling in the alders. Instead, this is who came my way. Heron + Branch - ©ingridtaylar And then another Great Blue, bearing the sign [...]

2019-01-30T21:35:26+00:00June 6th, 2013|Blog|12 Comments

The Sandpiper Trail at Grays Harbor NWR

In springtime every year, Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge in Washington State becomes a haven for hundreds of thousands of shorebirds making their way north to breeding grounds. For a few weeks in late April and early May, enormous flocks settle on the mud flats of the Refuge, feeding and restoring themselves in the midst of their long migration. The Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival celebrates the birds’ return every year, and gives Refuge visitors [...]

2019-02-01T20:58:32+00:00May 28th, 2013|Blog|9 Comments

Birds Flying High … You Know How I Feel

[My homage to Nina Simone, in the form of blurred wings and texturized Dunlins.] click for larger image - ©ingridtaylar When thousands of shorebirds frolic on the mire, their wingbeats rattle like seashells strung in the wind ... just the lightest of chimes, near silent except for the rush of air over 15,000 pairs of wings. They become a coil, spiraling sometimes at 40 miles per hour into shape shifters, turning their plumage [...]

2013-04-29T23:32:06+00:00April 29th, 2013|Uncategorized|10 Comments

I Wish I Was the Moon

Full moon rising orange over Seattle last night ... the real moon, not Photoshopped into the background. :) ~ click for larger image - ©ingridtaylar ~ I Wish I Was the Moon - Neko Case How will you know if you found me at last 'Cause I'll be the one, be the one, be the one With my heart in my lap I'm so tired, I'm so tired And I wish I was [...]

2013-04-26T05:26:36+00:00April 26th, 2013|Moon, Uncategorized, Urban, Weather|4 Comments
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