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Welcome to the Pine River Review. Our sight is dedicated to our little homestead located along the Pine River tucked inside the Chippewa Nature Center's 1400 Acres of wild in Michigan's lower penninsula. We love to share our pictures, video, comment, and our own homespun music. Step inside our world as we celebrate this beautiful nook!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

World Bird Wednesday LVIII


Refrigerator Soup


Let me tell you about a Firehouse custom. These cold mornings at Engine 23, it is my first responsibility to make soup from the left overs of the previous days lunch and dinner before we go out to check for frozen hydrants. It is a long standing tradition, born in the misty past, that the driver of the Engine (me) makes the soup and God knows the firehouse is nothing without tradition. Every morning during hydrant season; the days between October 1st and April 30th we check each fire hydrant in the city for leakage once a month. That involves driving around in the big rig, jumping off and hand dipping each one with a weight strung to the end of a rope. If the string, as it's pulled out, brings with it a splash of water, that hydrant is in danger of freezing solid and must be blown out dry with compressed air down below the frost line. A frozen hydrant wastes precious time in the effort to put the wet stuff on the red stuff. 
   Making soup and checking hydrants are twin rituals, like the steady tick and tock of a grandfather clock. The dependable morning rite starts the steady rhythm of the day, it makes the Firehouse: Home. There is no recipe for refrigerator soup, in the 112 years it has been improvised in Engine 23's big kitchen, never has it been made twice the same. It may start with corned beef, sausage, chicken, fish, veal, ham, pork roast, or it may have no meat base at all. I've seen times when there were no left overs at all, then we'd have a go with a creamy potato and onion probably.
   What so ever survives the night gets chopped up in the morning and put into the soup. Tradition! 






    For awhile we tried to name the soup du jour.  Names like "The Chiefs Out of the Loop Soup" came in moments of inspiration. However; the magic is not in the naming but in the preparation. For me a work day begins with chopped onions and the din of a hundred peculating conversation when sixteen A-type firehouse personalities, all hopped up on black coffee, are pressed around the chopping block as our shifts change. It is not a polite group and many a delicate soul has been diced up and thrown into the boil. There is often a bruised ego in the broth!



   World Bird Wednesday reminds me of refrigerator soup, warm, filling, and invigorating no mater the ingredients. While the fixing's are always different and the proportions at times preposterous, it is the shared experience of making soup that adds subtlety of flavour and aroma, like three bay leaves.
   The firehouse and WBW are as much a cooking school as anything else. You get to taste it all and watch it being made. Secrets are revealed. The traditions of every cuisine meet and melt, they become a part of your personal experience.
   Here in the Detroit Fire Department, the Black guys can cook Chinese, the Hillbillies prepare a mean Mid-eastern, the Asians throw down on soul food, and the Latins can kick out a Polish Wedding in a heart beat. There's no point getting your britches twisted. Superficial expectations diminish and the lines we mistook for boarders become pleasantly blurred because, in the end, we'll all wind up together in tomorrow's soup anyway! 





   This is the home of World Bird Wednesday. A place for bird photographers from around the world to gather and share their photographs and experiences as they pursue Natures most beautiful treasurers, the birds.
   You don't have to be a Bird Watcher or expert photographer to join in, just enjoy sharing what you bring back from your explorations and adventures into nature!

   World Bird Wednesday will be open for posting at 12 noon Tuesday EST North America through midnight on Wednesday.

CLICK THIS PICTURE!






#1. Simply copy the above picture onto your W.B.W. blog entry, it contains a link for your readers to share in the fun. Or, you can copy this link on to your blog page to share WBW. http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/

#2. Come to The Pine River Review on Tuesday Noon EST North America through Wednesday midnight and submit your blog entry with InLinkz.

#3. Check back in during the course of the next day and explore these excellent photoblogs!


The idea of a meme is that you will visit each others blogs and perhaps leave a comment to encourage your compatriots!

Come on it's your turn!




Tuesday, December 20, 2011

World Bird Wednesday LVII


  A Mark in Time

    What marks the passing of 2011 for you? Perhaps there is a new baby in your family or maybe you've discovered your passion and are ready to begin your life's work in earnest. A year is a convenient measure of time, beginning and ending for us Michiganders in the shivering cold of winter. A single day is a life time in microcosm; it's bookends a long sleep. It is useful to think in such terms, to take an accounting of our experiences and then stack them in orderly rows. I sought to understand the ebb and flow of my life by making a timeline and writing down under each year the noteworthy things that had occurred. At first it was easy. Kindergarten in '58, High School in '71, Heart attack in '07...but then, there were many lost years, like 1996, that stared back vacantly. Once a carpenter friend sought to explain the passage of years to me by stretching out a metal tape measure to 75 inches. "This," He remarked,"represents the average life expectancy of a human being." He went on to ask my age and grasped the ruler at that mark and inch number 75, pinching off a messily 17 inches in the process and letting the rest dangle in a mess on the floor.
"And this is all you've got left."
I am not so tough that I didn't get a cold shiver at this graphic display.




As a bird photographer the passing of a year is measured in photographic moments, those peak experiences when you, nature and your f-stop come together in kumbaya harmony. For this WBW and perhaps the next I'll be poking through the ashes of year 2011's findings to stir the fire and enjoy the warmth again.
  
The arrival of my 400mm Canon 5.6 L lens in the early going of 2011 clearly put its mark on this, my 58th trip around the sun. I took around 30,000 bird shots this year, the vast majority had the 400mm on board. The first Eagle pictures taken with this rig took me completely by surprise, there was more raw power here than I could have ever hoped for. Like a novice magician tapping his wand and garbling the incantations, it was difficult to predict how and when the magic would explode. Who knew taking pictures could capture shaman like views of a hidden world? I was hooked, and with the fervour of the newly converted I went out daily to polish my approach.

   Suzanne and I took a week in Florida where her hard won vacation was turned into a field trip. She was slowly coming to terms with her boyfriend losing his mind to bird photography. My driving had become particularly erratic as I automatically scanned the tree lines for raptors, these near death experiences concerned her, a cracking hawk picture was not something she was willing to give her life for, but for the most part, the people close to me have been amused by, and tolerated my fixation.
   Like they had a choice! 


  
 Has this year made an indelible mark on your life? Were your calm waters stirred? Has your sense of wonder been awakened? Have you lost sleep over the excitement of a new discovery? These are the small things I pray for and wish for you this Holiday Season.
   It is no wonder we mark the winter solstice with a beautiful variety of celebrations across this planet. At the heart of it, all the world's creatures share a common desire for an abundant life. We are all not so lucky.
   Maybe we should all make that call today, surprise an old friend who spends long hours alone, or put a strong arm around someone elses troubles.
   Remember please, this simple advise: You are the blessing, share it.
  That is a mark worth making! 




   This is the home of World Bird Wednesday. A place for bird photographers from around the world to gather and share their photographs and experiences as they pursue Natures most beautiful treasurers, the birds.
   You don't have to be a Bird Watcher or expert photographer to join in, just enjoy sharing what you bring back from your explorations and adventures into nature!

   World Bird Wednesday will be open for posting at 12 noon Tuesday EST North America through midnight on Wednesday.

CLICK THIS PICTURE!

#1. Simply copy the above picture onto your W.B.W. blog entry, it contains a link for your readers to share in the fun. Or, you can copy this link on to your blog page to share WBW. http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/

#2. Come to The Pine River Review on Tuesday Noon EST North America through Wednesday midnight and submit your blog entry with InLinkz.
#3. Check back in during the course of the next day and explore these excellent photoblogs!

The idea of a meme is that you will visit each others blogs and perhaps leave a comment to encourage your compatriots!


Come on it's your turn!



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

World Bird Wednesday LVI


Close at hand!
I have been sticking close to home this week while our skies have been heavy with thick cloud banks and not much help for bird photography. When a little bit of good light did brake through, it didn't last long, so I keep my camera close at hand and ready to react. There was no shortage of feathery subjects willing to model for the mixed nuts and seeds that stuff the feeders hung in the Maple tree just outside. A picture window is perfectly placed to observe the action. Sliding open the little side windows that frame the big glass makes it possible to take good unobstructed shots while leaning over the back of the living room couch, coffee and computer still close at hand. This is easy living! The light is excellent from this pampered perch all morning when the sun does shines. A little further out on the lawn a cherry tree has been hopping with Cedar-waxwings. When I see them massing high in the poplar or tamarack trees I whip on my coat, sneak outside and hide close by as they swoop down to harvest the cherries. They, along with the chickadees, titmice, cardinals, woodpeckers and jays are my cheerful companions, a reliable antidote to the low light winter blues.
   This has been the extent of my birding adventures this week: My own front yard and couch!




"If we could but paint with the hand what we see with the eye."
                                                                                                                 Honore de Balzac


It's much easier to take pictures in full light and often we will try to push the limits of the available illumination and try to artificially produce a picture that appears well lit even when it wasn't in the first place. Our post processing tools give us a good push in that direction, to make of a thing something it never was. But what of the scene as the eye saw it? Dimly lit and atmospheric. Doesn't that tell it's own story? Of course it does, but the limitations of our cameras to capture such moody, under lit scenes as our eye sees them is difficult to achieve. Our Birds don't always inhabit a brightly lit branch but you would think so given the vast majority of saved images. It really is only a very small part of the story. Birds make their living in the rain and snow and endure the long dark night. There is living detail in the shadows. I am thinking of Rembrandt's Night Watch or Van Gogh's Starry Night. Could we paint such scenes with a camera?


    You get the Idea. When my stretch of days ended at the home front, it was time to turn towards Detroit and fight fires. Wouldn't you know it....the sun blazed for the trip down. After days of thinking about Dutch painters and such matters dreary skies bring to mind, I visited Dow's ponds on the drive out and Bam! Just like that I captured today's header photo of the Common merganser walking on water and a nicely lit eagle maneuver.
    All said and done, it was nice to be back in the sunshine!



This is the home of World Bird Wednesday. A place for bird photographers from around the world to gather and share their photographs and experiences as they pursue Natures most beautiful treasurers, the birds.


You don't have to be a Bird Watcher or expert photographer to join in, just enjoy sharing what you bring back from your explorations and adventures into nature!


World Bird Wednesday will be open for posting at 12 noon Tuesday EST North America through midnight on Wednesday.

CLICK THIS PICTURE!

#1. Simply copy the above picture onto your W.B.W. blog entry, it contains a link for your readers to share in the fun. Or, you can copy this link on to your blog page to share WBW. http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/


#2. Come to The Pine River Review on Tuesday Noon EST North America through Wednesday midnight and submit your blog entry with InLinkz.

#3. Check back in during the course of the next day and explore these excellent photoblogs!

The idea of a meme is that you will visit each others blogs and perhaps leave a comment to encourage your compatriots!


Come on it's your turn!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

World Bird Wednesday LV


The Zen of Flight Photography


  We started the week with a good dose of snow and so it seems winter's long night has begun in earnest. Cold weather out of the North-West can often mean clear skies with the bright luminescence of a low arching December sun beaming through the trees. This is prime time to try and pull off some small bird-in-flight captures. When ever I see a good song bird flight picture I'll stop and take notice. They are a rare commodity. Getting one by accident is a pipe dream, achieving it with purpose is time consuming and baffling. Many methods have been tried to achieve good results and often successfully so. Consider please photographer/genius √Čtienne-Jules Marey of 19th century France who managed to apply multiple time lapse images of a flying pelican onto a single negative. The quality of this image taken in 1882 still holds up brilliantly some 130 years later. To this purpose Monsieur Marey invented a photographic machine gun that could shoot twelve frames a second. My sophisticated Dslr camera of today shoots only seven. 




    
                 Marey's images pushed the study of anatomical motion light years ahead. His books: La Machine animales/Animal Mechinism and Le Vol des Oiseaux/ The Flight of Birds, was followed by Le Mouvement in 1894, famously illuminating in great detail many mysteries including how a cat always lands on it's feet and that indeed, all four horse's hooves do leave the ground simultaneously at a full gallop.
    Photography and Enlightenment had begun a intriguing relationship.



   If the trick of capturing a Bird in Flight was pulled off so effectively in 1882, then why is this accomplishment still so intoxicating to every bird photographer great and small to this very day? Perhaps it has more to do with the singular experience of taking such a picture than the picture itself.
   Only up to a point, and a very fine point it is, can nature photography be planned in advance. (By the way, is that a tether knotted to Marey's pelican's foot?) When the day begins it is impossible to predict what birds we shall see and know the time of their arrival. We are seekers, open to opportunity. Ours is a reactive pastime, and an impressive level of concentration is required to simply observe, let alone pull off the mechanics involved in photographing our prey. A great shot is always just around the next corner and our reflexes are set to snap it.
   No one, and no technology is fast enough to track a song bird in flight at close quarters. Coupling that limitation with the need for shutter speeds in the vicinity of 1/2000 of a second and a cracker thin depth of focus it's easy to see why folks rehearse their in-flight photog' skills on lazily gliding gulls.
    The advanced practice takes total immersion; a Zen like focus on the Here and Now. That and $2000 worth of camera gear! 



A White-breasted nuthatch in flight. A moment in time.

    My technique involves picking a cubic foot of air near a feeder and shooting picture after picture as the yard birds streak through it. 99.9% of these attempts contain nothing but clear air and are nudged into the waste basket. Out of focus and blurred birds round out the last 1/10 of one percent. As a meditation exercise the student of Zen presses a stick in the sand and in a flash of inspired motion attempts to scratch a single perfect circle, an endless endeavour to momentarily experience perfection. How can anything so inherently frustrating lead to Nirvana? You'll have to ask the Buddha that one. To achieve a bird in flight capture we apply the same demented principle to a camera. The truth is the effort to take these pictures puts you 100% in The Present, the razor thin chasm between the past and future.                                             I don't think the animal kingdom in general devotes much time to such aesthetic pursuits as reaching harmony with the Universe. They don't need to.                        It is Humankind's special delusion to see itself as separate and insulated from Mother Earth like the thermos bottle in your lunch box.
    

A Black-capped chickadee in full bloom.

    Perhaps that lucky strike photo is all the proof we really need that if only for a moment, we too can delve into the kind of transcendent oneness a cat experiences when it lands softly on it's feet after a great fall or view the mystical mastery a bird has over it's wing tips as it manages the million micro maneuvers that sees it safely to it's perch.
   Bottom line: Small bird in flight photography is fun and does require your full awareness. The rare good pictures are Bliss, a souvenir from from a momentary glimpse of heaven!



This is the home of World Bird Wednesday. A place for bird photographers from around the world to gather and share their photographs and experiences as they pursue Natures most beautiful treasurers, the birds.

You don't have to be a Bird Watcher or expert photographer to join in,  just enjoy sharing what you bring back from your explorations and adventures into nature!

World Bird Wednesday will be open for posting at 12 noon Tuesday EST North America through midnight on Wednesday.

CLICK THIS PICTURE!
#1. Simply copy the above picture onto your W.B.W. blog entry, it contains a link for your readers to share in the fun. Or, you can copy this link on to your blog page to share WBW. http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/


#2. Come to The Pine River Review on Tuesday Noon EST North America through Wednesday midnight and submit your blog entry with InLinkz.


#3. Check back in during the course of the next day and explore these excellent photoblogs!

The idea of a meme is that you will visit each others blogs and perhaps leave a comment to encourage your compatriots!


Come on it's your turn!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

World Bird Wednesday LIV


Well Grounded




      I was grounded this week. Between cooking, cleaning, and making conversation with the good folks up visiting my Rio Pine sanctuary for the weekend, the chance to break away for several self-indulgent hours and take bird pictures wasn't in the cards. Being a good host took priority. To get even a few fresh shots to share this week, yard birds would be on the menu and I'd have to sneak them as deftly as a thirteen-year-old stealing beers at a Baptist wedding. Fortunately there is a ornamental tree in the front yard that holds it's red, cherry sized fruit long after it's leaves have dropped and makes for a colorful prop. With a feeder hung close by, you can count on the neighborhood birds to perch and pose in this pseudo natural setting. I lurk there, a cozy assassin in a chair blind built for rifle hunters that renders me invisible. It's a bait pile, a photographic trap with good production values. The planning involves taking a few test shots, about two or three hundred. Some of the early results are promising and I can't wait to delve further into the illusion. Even a plain old House finch looks pretty good given the star treatment.
   While my guests attention was other wise diverted, I took the few stolen moments to slip into the yard and play with shooting angles, trimming branches here and there that tended to block the good sight lines. When I sensed my presence was being missed, I would slip through the backdoor to reappear again like a good magician at exactly the right second armed with a pithy comment. 


Bird lovers are an odd lot and our way of seeing the world, while quite understandable to us, might be difficult to explain in a reasonable way to a normally configured brain. For instance, while showing a few of these pictures to a guest I tried to explain the interesting nature of avian foot structure and the difference good toe detail could make to a bird photograph. Who wouldn't want to see the microscopic crags and crevasses of a tiny birds feet, their grip and presence like that of a gnarled tree root that holds fast to the earth and keeps a towering tree upright, the very essence of fortitude and perseverance? I do not think, as my friend insinuated, that I have AFF, Avian Foot Fetish  issues that should be monitored by a licenced professional. However; like World peace, I can't understand why everyone isn't interested in such enthralling issues.
   It is a solitary life I lead in the softly lit room between my ears. It's central issues and themes are often at odds with the general pandemonium that swirls around me. I want to belong to and participate in the comings and goings of the dear people whose waves reach my shore. That tether of shared experience is important to me yet a sense of detachment remains.
  There is a danger in practicing and emphasizing your singularity of vision. True: The creative beast must be fed or it perishes quickly, but the time it takes to cultivate and construct the nuances of a richly imagined point of view often amounts to many lost hours and even days from those you love. They wonder what the hell your thinking about all the time, what it is that feeds your soul. There is no guarantee anything tangible will ever come and give credence to what is certainly the gigantic self indulgence of pursuing your vision quest.
   Like the balance between shutter speed, depth of field, and sensitivity to light that goes into making a fine photograph, finding an equilibrium between inner focus and family life, is a never ending struggle.
  


This my friend, is some good toe!



This is the home of World Bird Wednesday. A place for bird photographers from around the world to gather and share their photographs and experiences as they pursue Natures most beautiful treasurers, the birds.

You don't have to be a Bird Watcher or expert photographer to join in--just enjoy sharing what you bring back from your explorations and adventures into nature!


World Bird Wednesday will be open for posting at 12 noon Tuesday EST North America through midnight on Wednesday.

CLICK THIS PICTURE!

#1. Simply copy the above picture onto your W.B.W. blog entry, it contains a link for your readers to share in the fun. Or, you can copy this link on to your blog page to share WBW. http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/

#2. Come to The Pine River Review on Tuesday Noon EST North America through Wednesday midnight and submit your blog entry with Linky.

#3. Check back in during the course of the next day and explore these excellent photoblogs!

The idea of a meme is that you will visit each others blogs and perhaps leave a comment to encourage your compadres!


Come on it's your turn!





Tuesday, November 22, 2011

World Bird Wednesday LIII


A World of Sticks



   I think I still have a bit of a hangover from WBW's 1st anniversary blast last week. My mind is blank, over played in the face of the remarkable nature of your kind comments and well wishes. My pictures seem random and disconnected as I look for candidates to splash a blog post with. It's hard to see a thread of logic or a story to connect them with. I wish I had a good turkey picture to make ironic Thanksgiving comments about, maybe relate it to the naive Native Americans who paid a hefty price for the sin of poor character assessment when the billowing sails of ocean going vessels first tipped over the Eastern Horizon. That point has been made, sharpened many times over.
  Yes, if it is your fate to be American, it is a good bet a fifteen to twenty pound turkey torso is laying in wait inside your refrigerator. There is one in mine, complete with a pop up thermal plug to let me know when the bird is thoroughly roasted. If your not American or decline to celebrate overindulgence this Thanksgiving holiday, rejoice and be thankful anyway, as a WBW person you will be fondly and well remembered as I lift a toast while counting my greatest blessings this Thursday. If by chance, luck has you in Michigan this week, there is a chair for you at my table and a soft pillow to cradle your head after chow.




Luckily this is a bird blog, and it's never a mistake to simply tell how you got the pictures.
  
   My son Josh and I took a cruise around Belle Isle one morning after work. His Firehouse and mine had gone to a little church fire the evening before but other than that the night had passed peacefully. Belle Isle is our decompression zone. We meet there to share and shed the comings and goings of the previous work day. The patch lays across the MacArthur bridge; a calm, green oasis, a stones throw from the poor neighborhoods of lower East-side Detroit that we fight fires in. Half way between Lakes Huron and Erie, along the Great Lake's flyway, it's a prime stopover point for migrating birds. A family of Night Herons summers here and they're a lot easier to find now that the leaves have fallen. Their hiding places made bare, we can see right into the world of sticks.
   The big news this week has been the Tundra swans out on the choppy waters of the Detroit river. The adult swans are leading the Atlantic flock from their summer home along the Arctic rim, funneling down the center of the continent to the wintering grounds up and down the North American Eastern seaboard. It is a nice diversion to think that these great birds were in such an exotic location just a short time ago; World travelers come to town with the salt of strange seas still on their feathers.  



  
   The comings and goings of bird life is stock and trade for us, the watchers of nature. We mark time by the migrations as surely as the Astronomers can, guided by the path of stars through the heavens. To what end does this watching take us? 
   It is folly maybe, to think you can look into the mind of another species. To know their motivations, the primal urge to raise wings and commence a great journey. To see in your minds eye the stars in the same way they do. To feel the magnetic pull of the Earths poles and travel the third dimension of air, wind, and thermals as surely and deftly as we Earth bound souls scratch the dirt with our hands and feet. Are we designed for lesser things than they that flock above?
   Do they pity us, the birds? 




This is the home of World Bird Wednesday. A place for bird photographers from around the world to gather and share their photographs and experiences as they pursue Natures most beautiful treasurers, the birds.
You don't have to be a Bird Watcher or expert photographer to join in--just enjoy sharing what you bring back from your explorations and adventures into nature!
  
World Bird Wednesday will be open for posting at 12 noon Tuesday EST North America through midnight on Wednesday.

CLICK THIS PICTURE!

#1. Simply copy the above picture onto your W.B.W. blog entry, it contains a link for your readers to share in the fun. Or, you can copy this link on to your blog page to share WBW. http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/


#2. Come to The Pine River Review on Tuesday Noon EST North America through Wednesday midnight and submit your blog entry with Linky.


#3. Check back in during the course of the next day and explore these excellent photoblogs!

The idea of a meme is that you will visit each others blogs and perhaps leave a comment to encourage your compadres!
Come on it's your turn!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

World Bird Wednesday LII


Happy Anniversary




   Recognise this guy? Yep. It is the little White-throated Sparrow that has become the iconic face of World Bird Wednesday. It was October 30th, 2010. Joe "the bird whistler" Paquette and I had left the Motor City that morning for a weekend of guitar playing and photography with my brand spanking new Canon T2i Dslr Camera. Joe's talent, among others, is his ability to call in birds with weird whistles and clattering noises. The strange and unusual forest creatures I seldom see show up unaccountably when he is around. There is that aura about him.
   I was still lugging in my fire gear from the car when Joe called for me to hurry up and come to the back yard. I was kind of tired and did not wished to be hustled after a night of firefighting and the two hour drive back home. "Wait!"
   When I gathered myself and got out there to see what was troubling him, he pointed to this feathery confection, an ounce of wild life that would change the course of my Wednesdays forever. 


   I bolted for the camera, a million thoughts tumbling through my mind. The Dslr was still foreign to me as I had barely a thousand blurry shots under my belt. I didn't trust the damn thing to take a good picture with me operating it. What lens should I use? What setting? Was the battery charged? Would the sparrow still be there?
  The bird had not moved much and was busy gobbling down a hornet. It began to occur to us that something was wrong. No bird, even a juvenile, would tolerate the close, ponderous presence of a couple of large men. Our bird could not fly.

 I trusted the camera and began to take pictures in the Program mode, the inboard electronics making the important decisions concerning shutter speed, and f-stop. A wise choice in those days. The object of our attention began to hop around, agitated at it's predicament, and fell into a four foot deep, wood framed ditch that was dug out to accommodate the large egress windows my basement is fitted with. We couldn't let him stay trapped there so Joe went into rescue mode and fished him out. It was time to leave the bird alone, all this photography was not helping his prospects. The next morning Joe happened upon our little sparrow laying underneath a blue spruce, it's spirit having passed from this world and so it's body rests, buried there 'till this day.
   Matthew10:29 goes something like this:"Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it."
   This verse has stuck to me with some essential truth that I could not quite grasp. It struck me one day that in order for this to be true, everything; rocks, clouds, air, and even the very soil we tread upon, must be conscious and enlivened in some way. Thus, when the insignificant sparrow falls, the Earth receives it knowingly. I felt the tingle that accompanies true epiphanies.
   Frank Zappa asked the musical question to the lilting Philosopher,"Who you jiving with that cosmic debris?"
   It is a good thing philosophy and religion can not be fact checked, it would ruin their usefulness!



   Just a couple weeks after this encounter I took the plunge and started World Bird Wednesday as an extension of my four month old blog, The Pine River Review. How could a year have passed already?
   Back in those lonely days I took inspiration from and patterned my own unremarkable efforts after three exceptional blogs.
   Me, Boomer, and the Vermilon River was a model of steadfastness. Gary never wavers in his efforts to chronicle the natural world in his niche of Northern Ontario and shows that if you make the effort to get out, nature will reveal herself endlessly.
   Hilke's One Jackdaw Birding set a level for insight and native knowledge of bird life that is welcoming and enthusiastic. To me, her seal of approval meant my efforts were gaining credibility.
   Lastly, Owen's Magic Lantern Show illuminated a path of possibilities for me, that a combination of brilliant photography along with personal, eclectic, and amusing writing like his, could raise the level of simple journal blogging into a powerful art form. Heady stuff!
   World Bird Wednesday, such as it is, owes much to these influences. Today, a year later, this list has grown immensely as I have learned, laughed and been jaw dropped by a hundred different approaches to this pastime we share. It is wonderful to behold the light of so many kindred spirits! 
   To this date WBW has been shared in 122 countries, that amazes me. It is a tribute to the fine bloggers who participate with their blissful posts for our enjoyment and especially to those who leave their comments of encouragement to further those efforts. The currency of praise can not be inflated to highly!
   Light a candle, lift a toast, because...


   This is the home of World Bird Wednesday. A place for bird photographers from around the world to gather and share their photographs and experiences as they pursue Natures most beautiful treasurers, the birds.

    You don't have to be a Bird Watcher or expert photographer to join in--just enjoy sharing what you bring back from your explorations and adventures into nature!
  
World Bird Wednesday will be open for posting at 12 noon Tuesday EST North America through midnight on Wednesday.


CLICK THIS PICTURE!







#1. Simply copy the above picture onto your W.B.W. blog entry, it contains a link for your readers to share in the fun. Or, you can copy this link on to your blog page to share WBW. http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/

#2. Come to The Pine River Review on Tuesday Noon EST North America through Wednesday midnight and submit your blog entry with Linky.

#3. Check back in during the course of the next day and explore these excellent photoblogs!

   The idea of a meme is that you will visit each others blogs and perhaps leave a comment to encourage your compadres!
Come on it's your turn!