Learning html

I started putting this website together primarily to learn how to do some html programing. I always enjoy learning new things to do. However, quite often it seems that what I am trying to do has been made unecessarily difficult. Or perhaps it's just the learning how that is hard for us older mortals.
    Perhaps it's just me, but aren't most "how to" books these days written for people who almost know how already? And does anybody else notice that one critical step has been mentioned once in some other part of the book and the assumption is that the reader should be able to associate that with what they are now doing some 326 pages later? Or maybe even dummys are born with that bit of info.
    And then once you learn how to do something, you find out it isn't done that way anymore, you have to use another method. The reason, of course, is the new method is much easier and faster. Once you have spent the additional time to learn it. After spending a considerable amount of time trying to learn this new and faster method, it turns out that some of the old things that really worked well are no longer doable in this new method, but something similar can be accomplished. That is of course, after you learn "how to" use this other process that is also needed to make this new and faster method work at all. Then after (and if) you get to this point you find out that all this new stuff may not work everyplace you want it to.
    But I enjoy it.
Great Gray Owl feeding chick

Care to Join us for Lunch?

     Words can't really describe the feeling then or now! The wife and I had driven about 350 miles to a spot in Oregon in hopes of getting pictures such as these. This was our second trip in three weeks, the young ones not being visible earlier. These nest boxes are put up and maintained by the forest service as part of a forest restoration project.
    The owls are wild birds, but have grown accustomed to the presence of people. We had been watching this nest with chick inside and the female adult staying close by for a couple hours since daybreak. As I was watching (Carolyn missed this part) the male flew into the nest with this mouse. The female then flew up and the male passed the mouse to her and left. After looking to see if I was going to join them, the chick turned and began feeding.
Great Gray Owl chick

Wow! What's That?

     The Great Gray Owl chicks leave the nest about two weeks before they are able to fly. After getting to the ground they climb up fallen branches or leaning tree trunks where they are fed and watched over by the parents until they fledge. After arriving in the area in the afternoon, I decided to check this site first. When I got within sight of the nest I could see there was no one home so I started making a slow circuit of the area about 200ft out.
    After about an hour of working my way through the woods, I stopped for a rest and checked behind me and looked right into the eyes of this fellow. I don't think he blinked but I sure did! He was only about 15ft behind me and about 12ft off the ground. I had walked right under him! I actually had to back up to take this picture.
    During the next half hour or so I slowly and carefully made my way out and around him taking pictures as I went. At time his eyes would droop and almost close as if he were about to go to sleep. All the while I could hear the adult nearby softly tooting to him. Probably letting him know she would take care of me if I didn't mind my manners.
    I can understand a little bit how the native americans came to worship birds and animals. This was almost a religious experience.
    So excuse me if I get on my pulpit here and say what an awesome place this earth would be if we could/would just take better care of it.
Mt Rainier

Mt Rainier

     Thirty years ago, before the trees in the foreground were there, this was an awesome panoramic view of Mt. Rainier. I had a camera and passed this spot on average probably twice a day. No Pictures! (see also comment top of page 2)
    I don't know why, but I went there on this morning somehow expecting the view to be the same as it was then. And while it is recognizable as the same location, although just barely, time has eroded the beauty. By looking thhrough the trees and over the houses below, I can still get a glimpse of what once was, but for the most part the appeal is gone.
    Kind of like looking in the mirror.
Rufous Hummingbird

Young Hummer

     I have tried many times to attract hummingbirds. I would get one or two but in a short time they would quit coming. After building this last house I concentrated on attracting birds of all kinds, but made sure to get flower baskets and hummingbird feeders up early in the spring.
    Quite early a lone female Rufous showed up. Soon others would come but this first female would run them off. After a time a male came by and she would run him off. As spring progressed she gave in and they they tolerated each other but were busy keeping newcomers away from the food supply. Then he became very dominant and would go after anything that came near, even me when I filled the feeders. When she would show up he would even run her off. Then after a while there was an extra one and it seemed at times like everyone was chasing everyone. Finally he went wherever the males go when their job is done and the female and the young one were here but just barely tolerant of each other.
    She finally left and this young one was able to feed without someone chasing him off. Interestingly, he hardly ever used the feeders but mostly fed on the flowers, as we see here, a foot or so from my living room window.
River Otters

The Otter Guys

     This pose lasted for only a few seconds. I already had the camera pointed their way trying to get them moving, when they stopped and gave me this look. I clicked once and they were gone. A picture I am happy to have, but it does suffer a little for lack of sharpness.
    I wonder though,if I would have been ready with the equipment I use now? Then I was handholding a 5lb camera/lens combination. Now what I mostly use weighs over 10lbs and usually is on a tripod.
    Wildlife photography is often a matter of opportunity, but always it requires forethought and preparation. Using a tripod, I have to recognize sooner the possibilities and anticipate more accurately where the shot will be. However, if I get that part right, the tripod and superior lens will definately produce a sharper picture.
Merlin eating a smaller bird

Food Chain

     Survival of the fittest? Or something else? I don't go here very often but this picture begs the question. I personally feel that evolution is a foolish theory. However the fact that the strong, quick and ruthless prey upon the weak, slow and timid is obvious.
    We humans, by reason of our unique abilities, are the strongest of all and everything else is prey to us. That is even the case sometimes with other humans, although not generally considered acceptable behavior. In fact we pass laws to that effect. But we do hunt and because of our ability, cultivate other life for food.
    Many, including myself, feel a degree of discomfort with this aspect of life around us. And I wonder how much is as it should be? Was it always, in the case of other than humans, this way? Will it forever continue?
    Wow! This musing can get to be heavy stuff!
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