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    Congratulations Norma on your 1 year badge! that's awesome! Congrats Rainbow Dragon too on this accomplishment! ​​​​​​​

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      For weeks Windows has been whining at me that my machine did not have enough disk space free to function properly.
      So I purged a year's worth of photos. Didn't sort through them. Just dumped everything onto a couple of USB keys, then purged the files from my hard drive.
      And now:
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      Ta da!

      Whatever will I do with so much space?
      (Not fill it up with junk photos again, I hope. I really need to start winnowing down my photos the day I take them. Otherwise the task quickly gets out of hand.)

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        It's funny how getting rid of junk files gives you the same feeling as getting rid of junk stuff that takes up physical space in your home.

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          Thank you:
          Whirly
          DorothyMH
          Mamatigerj
          Gandhalfit
          Anek
          AnnieW
          basecamp
          Zastria
          NancyTree

          Productivity is much improved this week, since implementing my new Work Before Play rule.

          I've still been slacking on the running though. Either the weather here needs to hurry up and warm up, or I need to suck it up and pull out my winter gear once again. I won't be able to catch up in time to meet my goal for the year if I don't start putting in more mileage soon.

          At least I've been getting in some more hiking mileage, including a couple of trips down the Marsh Trail in Rondeau. (I need to hike this one early in the year, because it's likely to become impassable without hip waders again soon.)

          I saw my beloved Sandhill Cranes on the Marsh Trail last week:

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          I'm not fluent in Crane. But I'm fairly certain this bird is saying: "Dude! Come on! There's a human coming! We have to get out of here! NOW!"

          Sandhill Crane calling to its partner.

          Bird #1 finally gets bird #2 on the move:

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          And away they go:

          Two Sandhill Cranes take flight.

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            Great action shots!
            Is that some type of red bird off in the distance in the fourth photo?

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              Originally posted by Mianevem View Post
              It's funny how getting rid of junk files gives you the same feeling as getting rid of junk stuff that takes up physical space in your home.
              True that. I've really had my hands tied digitally for months due to the crowded hard drive. 256 GB seemed huge when I first bought this machine.

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                Thank you Mamatigerj . And good eye! The small bird in the distance is an American Robin.

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                  Great photos of the cranes!

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                    I thought that might be what it was. I haven't seen those in Texas, but we had them in Western Washington.
                    By the way, after our trip to Colorado Springs, I can now identify the Black-billed Magpie; they were all over the place! I also heard a woodpecker on one of my walks there but could never spot it.

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                      Cool pictures! Thank you for sharing!

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                        You could submit those pics to some nature mag and gettem published, they’re so good!!

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                          Such great pictures.
                          It's good to know work before play works for someone, nice going.

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                            Great pictures! Thank you!

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                              Amazing pictures!

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                                Thank you:
                                Whirly
                                CODawn
                                DorothyMH
                                Gandhalfit
                                AnnieW

                                DorothyMH the focus is not sharp enough for print. But these shots are pretty good for my little camera. (Sandhill Cranes are so big, it's tough to get the whole bird in focus in any case.)
                                There are a number of professional wildlife photographers who shoot in the Rondeau area. Their work is stunning. But their equipment is much more expensive than mine. And a lot heavier too. The pros have skill. But they also don't hike 16 km in a day with their kit, as I did on this day. And when they do need to hike into the field, they have assistants to help carry their gear. My original reason for buying an Ontario Parks pass was to have a nice location in which to get physical exercise (specifically running). Getting into birding and wildlife photography in general definitely took away from the amount of time I have available to pursue more intense forms of physical activity. But I've made it a rule that I need to at least be hiking while I'm out there. When I go to Rondeau, I park the car, and I get out and walk. If I hear about a cool bird that has been spotted in another area of the park, I may walk there to check it out if I can. But I won't get into a car to drive from hotspot to hotspot. Neither will I spend the day sitting in a wildlife blind, waiting for the perfect shot. Occasionally I still get a great shot. But most of the time the lighting is far from ideal, and/or there is grass, leaves, and/or branches between me and my subject, and/or the subject is too far away for the little lens on my camera to capture a crisp image. Which is okay. I enjoy being out there, and I do frequently get photographs like these ones, which I think have great character (even though they're not professional quality).

                                Mamatigerj that is cool! I have never seen a magpie (at least, not that I recall). Their range only just extends into the western most corner of Ontario. (The area I live in is called "Southwestern Ontario" but it's actually in the eastern half of the province. Northwestern Ontario is about 1000 km further west than me!) I have not travelled more than 100 km from my home since I started birding. I would love to venture further afield one day to check out the wildlife from other regions, including western North America. (I have been to the west coast once, and to central Canada three times, but I was not looking for new-to-me birds at those times.)

                                Whirly have you seen this? I messaged Jamey Stegmaier on Tuesday asking if there was any plan or possibility for Stonemaier Games to release blank Wingspan bird cards in the future, so players could customize their own decks. I shared my story of Rondeau's Great Kiskadee with him and said I thought lots of birders would have a favourite bird or birds they'd want to have in their game, which would not necessarily be included in any official expansion (given there are upwards of 10K known bird species in the world). He told me Stonemaier doesn't have any plans to sell blank cards as of yet but that they might consider the idea in the future. He then said he would set up a form which people could use to suggest birds for future expansions--and he'd followed through on this within a couple of hours! There's no guarantee any of the suggested birds will be used, of course (there are a lot of Wingspan players out there and a lot of birds to choose from). But I figure it won't hurt to make a suggestion or two. (The Great Kiskadee is primarily a South American bird. So I'm definitely going to suggest it for the eventual South American expansion.) Jamey also suggested a way I could add my own cards to the Wingspan deck by sleeving all of the cards. I couldn't find any sleeves with opaque backs that are the correct size for Wingspan cards, however. I've ordered some Japanese-sized card sleeves, which are close, and will try them. If the sleeves I've ordered are too loose, I may try smaller, transparent-backed ones and just slip a piece of opaque paper into each sleeve behind the card. (I still think official blanks that could be customized with stickers would be a cleaner and easier solution. But I'm excited enough by the idea of customizing my deck to give this a try.)

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