BAD goes head to head

Over on G+ a small exchange of thoughts has been underway about whether it works aesthetically to take head-on photos of birds. I had a rummage through my old Gamages catalogue and found quite a few eyeball shots – or thereabouts. Very few of these have seen the light of day. They generally look odd. Occasionally the hostile stare of a bird is captured, glaring at the importunate photographer and it has the desired effect. Mostly though they fall into the ‘nearly’ category.  I was mulling over in the recesses of my mind whether this has something to do with the brain’s ability to see in 3D whereas for all the advances in digital photography we still have flat 2D images.

The bird that I know will always take me on is the Light-vented or Chinese Bulbul. Probably the commonest garden bird we have but always good for entertainment. They are highly social birds. Sometimes I see flocks of 30 or 40, maybe more. And they make a real din. Like children in the playground they just love to chatter. Maybe they play tag as juveniles. They are undoubtedly the cheeky chappies of the garden. The Max Miller of the bird world. Now there’s a funny thing. I’m sure they tell dirty jokes and probably go for a quick ciggie behind the fruiting tree, joking all the time. They push and shove one another, elbowing for room on the branch, sometimes fluttering up with a squawk of indignation before landing again in a state of high dudgeon.

Anyway, here is a small selection of images taken going head to head – more or less – with the garden scallywags.Surrender

Light-vented Bulbul


Chinese-bulbulAnd just to prove its not always head to head well…… Bulbuls behaving badly.Mooning bulbulsAnd that’s your lot. Be thankful.


Now here’s a funny thing, missus.

Max Miller or The Cheekie Chappie is before all our times but I wonder whether we might find his successor in Ben Bernanke. The Fed Chairman gave a Commencement Speech yesterday and even quoted Yogi Berra.

This is a link to a source for the speech.

The rather dry tagline is Economic Prospects for the Long Run. In this speech Bernanke challenges the broadly pessimistic views that seem to prevail today when discussing the global outlook. He looks back and he looks forward. He says:

“…..the conclusion some have drawn is that the sustainable pace of economic growth and change and the associated improvement in living standards will likely slow further, as our most recent technological revolution, in computers and IT, will not transform our lives as dramatically as previous revolutions have.

Well, that’s sort of depressing. Is it true, then, as baseball player Yogi Berra said, that the future ain’t what it used to be? Nobody really knows; as Berra also astutely observed, it’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

His (Bernanke’s not Berra’s) concluding remark is:

“In short, both humanity’s capacity to innovate and the incentives to innovate are greater today than at any other time in history.”

Bernanke is not much older than I am. He and I will have seen much of the same in terms of world change. Not all of it good. Some of it definitely bad. At present the world is in an economic mess. It is slowly being worked through but has a long way to run. It is difficult to look around and find somewhere without problems.Yet since 2009 there has been a slow and unrelenting climb of the wall of worry. It has been painful and not pretty. For countries with 40%+ unemployment, especially amongst the younger generations, it is a catastrophe. But the Chairman of the Fed is out there whistling “Always look on the Bright Side of Life”.  And perhaps there is a lesson there for us all.

My life was brightened by an award from Jayde Ashe over at her blog, The Paperbook Blog. Thank you so much, Jayde. Previously I have refused all awards. Or perhaps I have never been given one. I don’t recall.

This is the award:



Part of the award process is I have to share seven things about myself. So here goes:

And this is why the award process doesn’t work for me. I have been racking my brain to think of 7 remotely interesting things to share and I can’t even come up with one. So maybe I should borrow a trick from Val at Arty Old Bird. You can ask me questions and I’ll pick seven to answer. How about that? And then I will try to select seven more recipients for the One Lovely Blog Award.

In the meantime I will add The Paperbook Blog to my blogroll because it is very good indeed. Lady P. at Penpusherpen is also going on there as another fine recently-discovered blog. I may try to add Ben Bernanke too but I’m not sure he would be a popular choice. But any man that quotes Yogi Berra can’t be all bad………….

My favourites are:

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” and

“Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.”