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Friday, May 31, 2013

Bird watching : Charleston Slough

We went to Charleston Slough (Mountain View) on a Sunday morning upon a whim.  My 'Audobon Birds' android app (best $1.99 spent on Google Play) listed it as a local hot spot for bird-watching. It is quite close to Googleplex, the corporate headquarters of Google,Inc. We parked on Terminal Blvd, which true to its name is a dead-end street. Right from the parking spot you can walk into a trail, beginning from under a tree, which stands like a check-post to a wonderland. You can almost hear it say 'Welcome! Leave your worries behind.'

I had a bad back when I first went there. But the walk didn't feel so bad. There were people around walking with their pets or loved ones. I was with SG. We had a standard zoom lens (18-55 mm)- great for landscapes but a poor choice for wildlife. It was a blessing in disguise. I paid more attention to the view and sounds without having to worry about taking shots. I sat on a bench and enjoyed watching a retinue of water birds forage for food, until they were filled enough to turn their attention to post-meal chatter. Some of them tucked their heads into the back  feathers and rested, sometimes lifting a leg up. Now, that's a challenge for even the most accomplished yogi.

It was time to go home, but I promised myself to go back with a telephoto. Plans were canceled over the week owing to overcast weather and the disagreeable back ache. Every time I heard sparrows chirp beside my bedroom, my heart raced back to the swamp with an urge to see those feathery friends in their natural habitat. I told myself, 'Soon..'

We went back with a 75-300 mm lens, but were still myopic in our view. Nevertheless, here are some shots by SG with a Canon EOS Rebel T2i (until we can afford a super telephoto : say 600mm or 800mm)

 A pair of  Black-necked Stilts

Caspian Tern

Goldfinch (female)

Other visitors
 American Avocet with eggs
California Gull

Retro morning (That's me)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The pursuit of happiness: Relations

'Your net worth is your network'-I agree.  You can't be a lone ranger and flourish always. In fact, no matter how hard you try, you'll need others to make your  life fuller. Even schools teach you to work in teams, to be more patient and empathetic towards others. Some people will be negative. There is nothing you can do to help them. Yet, try to see their goodness. Even the most worthless (in popular opinion) has something beautiful in them. Focus on that. But most importantly invest in yourself. Stay  busy.

Foster and cherish genuine relations. Sometimes, it will be 'give and give'; don't regret doing a good deed. Even if it never comes back to you. The joy of doing good should be reward enough. It usually is. Expect nothing. When you get something when you least expect it, the happiness increases manifold.

Love at least one person unconditionally. You need that to enrich your emotional experience.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Dunwich Horror

Click on the label 'podcast ' or 'mp3' for more audio clips and 'video' for videos.

Friday, May 10, 2013

I am a writer

As far as I can remember, I always wanted to be a writer. What lacks in talent, can be made up (to a certain extent) by hard work. I think I gave up trying . I have made a timeline of significant events which shaped my belief that I could be a successful scribe -just to remind myself what I once wished to be. If a certain desire still lives in your heart, and you wish to set fire to it, do it today. Because every day we walk towards our demise, and we are left with even less time to try our best at what we were born to become.

The rest of the post is more of personal significance: