The phone rang late Friday evening; my friend Lorie was looking at Tree Swallows (above) out at Lake Kirby. Friday’s cold front had stalled the migrating swallows and several hundred were flying around barely inches from the water’s surface. Needing my birder’s fix for the day, I grabbed the camera and ran (OK, drove) out to Lake Kirby to see if I could photograph a few of the swallows. On the way out I told myself all the reasons I shouldn’t be photographing: cloudy, diminishing evening light, cold north wind, subjects probably too far away, and John English wouldn’t photograph in such conditions. But I love a challenge and sure, the images could be much better; but all the images are at least diagnostic. Besides, no one really gets great looks at swallows; they’re always darting back and forth eating bugs.
Not only were a few Tree Swallows hovering above the lake but Bank Swallows (above), Barn Swallows, Cliff Swallows, and Cave Swallows were present as well. The strong north wind slowed them down just long enough for the camera to lock in on them allowing me a few shots. They are in the Migrating Swallows Picture Album. And if you think the two images posted here are less than decent, don’t bother looking at the album; they aren’t much better. But if you’re a birder needing a fix, enjoy!
So as daylight began to slip into darkness, I put the keys into the ignition and prepared to leave water’s edge. Uh-oh, nothing happened when I turned the key in the ignition. The truck wouldn’t start! Several warning symbols flashed on the dashboard. Incredulous and wondering how I was going to explain this one to my non-birding spouse, I got the vehicle’s manual out thinking I could decipher what was wrong with the truck. Hmm…I discovered the red glowing battery symbol surely meant I had a dead battery. So I called the non-birding spouse, confessed my predicament, and waited for help to arrive in the form of jumper cables. Slamming shut the glove compartment in frustration then caused the truck’s horn to sound off. Quickly punching a few buttons on the keyless remote stopped the blare of the horns and then I realized why my truck wouldn’t start. I had locked myself in the truck with the remote and when I attempted to start it, the truck thought I was someone trying to steal it. Only when I unlocked it with the remote did the truck start just fine. Chagrined, I called my non-birding spouse, confessed my stupidity and stopped him from driving all the way out to Kirby.
My, ain’t technology grand?