Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The letter "Z" and a Birding Adventure

Zoodikers! The letter Z reins today.  Next week, the 15th round of ABC Wednesday will begin at the letter A.  It was 7 years ago that Denise Nesbitt had the zoetic idea to start a meme that features a new letter of the alphabet each week, and I am very grateful to her for putting this idea with a ton of zizz into action.  Perhaps, you will consider joining. The potential for creativity and fun is almost limitless.  Here's the link to learn more about it.

I am also linking up today to a couple of bird memes.  Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday and Anni's I'd Rather B Birdin' are zazzy ways to learn about birds from around the world and I appreciate the work done by both hosts to bring bird lovers together. 

I found some "unusual words that begin with z" at this site.

1. zoetic - living, vital
2. zeroable - able to be omitted from a sentence without loss of meaning
3. zoodikers - an expression 
4. zuche - tree stump
5. zoilism - unjust criticism
6. zizz - sparkle, vim

Yesterday was a very unusual day in that I didn't take even one picture of Bill or Black Jack.  Zoodikers!  How could that have happened?  They bring a zoetic quality to my life that I'll try to illustrate with this story.  A few days ago, in Stanley Park, Bill and I talked about the letter Z.  He had just taken Black Jack to check out a favourite zuche that had retained its appeal in spite of a skunking from that very stump only a couple of years earlier.
A short distance from the zuche, Bill spotted this branch, and commented that it might seem obscure but he thought he saw the letter Z in it.  I saw it too!  Zoodikers!  More words would be zeroable.  Bill and Black Jack add zizz to my life that wouldn't be there without them.  
Yesterday, we returned to Stanley Park, this time with the specific goal to understand my new Nikon D7100 camera a bit better.  I played around between "manual" and "aperture" priority, hoping to get clearer shots of birds in action.  Almost all of the nests in the heronry are now empty.  Just a few youngsters are waiting to take their first flight. 
Most of my shots were too dark so I've done some shadow-reduction in many of them, but I made a bit of progress in at least being able to track with the autofocus.   
If there is anyone out there in birdland with the same camera and some advice for birds-in-flight shots (I do know I should use a tripod but that isn't going to happen for now), I would accept "best settings to use" advice with much appreciation.  Not-a' word would be zeroable.
I considered it somewhat miraculous when my camera caught this teeny-weeny spec in the sky and confirmed, after much cropping, that it was a zoetic swallow.
I tried some still shots as well (mostly in manual).  I'm not sure of the distinction between young and mature blue herons, but am wondering if this one was recently fledged.  I've never seen the wings droop quite like that.  I thought I saw a sad woman wrapping her skirts..
about her, and, what a stunningly gorgeous skirt it was!
It has been a good year for Canada Goose survival.  It seems almost everywhere we go, there are large numbers of them traveling determinedly to I'm not sure where.
 They lined up along Lost Lagoon,
 along with several pigeons. This one, I thought, was an especially photogenic one.
Not entirely happy with the day's photos, I still felt I had learned something.  These cormorants (?) were to be my last shot of the day.  They, too, had been tiny specks in a distant sky, and though their details were not entirely clear, at least the outline was sharp.
 We were about to get on our bikes when high drama happened over our heads.
The eagle was on its way to the heronry for his/her afternoon snack,
 and the seagulls..
 were determined to..
make that an unsuccessful mission.
 and crows..
 all headed to the tree where the eagle..
 had landed.
Desperate cries, heartrending screams, and harsh caws filled the air.  The foliage hid most of the story from us.  I do not know if the eagle's mission was satisfied but the sounds of the moment live on in zoetic intensity.  I feel no zoilism against the eagle.  Most likely, there are waiting young back at his/her nest.  The reality of nature is cruel, but life seems to carry on as it is intended to do and it is my thought that the less interference from humans, the better.  
Thanks so much for stopping by.  If you would like to find out more about ABC Wednesday, or about the wonderful bird memes, just scroll to the top of the page to get those links.  Happy Wednesday to you.  May there be no zoilism in your life and lots of zoetic moments.


  1. the eagle is beautiful but i'd hate to be a heron chick... i've seen gbh's droop their wings like that on very hot days, here. they remind me of a flasher opening his trenchcoat. :)

  2. Had not heard of the zoodikers expression.Cool bird shots♪

  3. Great expressions and odd words.
    Terrific photos of the birds.

  4. Oh boy, a batch of Zed words that are new to me and beautiful photography, I always enjoy your posts, thanks for taking us along on your adventures,

  5. Oh my...oh my, excellent post!! The photos of the birds, all of the different species, are superior!!! I really enjoyed viewing!!!!

    And loved reading your play on the 'z' words....what an outstanding job of it all.

    Thanks for linking up this week at the Bird D'Pot!!!

  6. Your heron and eagle shots added a lot zizz to my life today!

    abcw team

  7. TtHE EAGLE IS A MAGNIFIVCENT BIRD but nature is nature

  8. A fantastic series of photos!

  9. I must remember some of these new Z words for next round. I really like Zoodikers!! What a fun post.

  10. What a wonderful vocabulary lesson attached to excellent pictures. I will have to teach the grands "zoodikers"! It feels so good to say it when one is happy, excited, surprised etc. Phyllis

  11. Really great shots. Looks like you are doing pretty good in the learning process with the photos!

  12. Great shots of the herons and the eagles.

  13. fantastic shots and for someone getting to know their camera you did so well. Lots was happening! Enjoyed all of them

  14. Your posts are always zoetic, full of zizz! Thanks for your ongoing support of ABC Wednesday!

  15. Wow, cool birds. I love the herons and the eagles. Awesome photos.