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Monthly Archives: January 2012

31 Jan

I tend to be enthusiastic about the things I love and something inside me drives me to share them with others. For instance, my habit of watching birds and wildlife with the binoculars has infected my husband, Bill. Before we met, Bill had an interest in wildlife, of course, and he even had a few old binoculars collecting dust in his closet, but it took being married to me to have him reaching for binoculars every time he looks out the window when he sees something of interest. I wouldn’t call him a binocular nut, at this point, but it …

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30 Jan

I would love to see a better class of binoculars in the movies. I don’t expect too many folks in Hollywood to be binocular experts, but you would think that if someone goes to all the trouble of making sure the guns, cars and other props used in the movie are believable, they would do the same for the binoculars. That only rarely happens, though. Most of the time our well-funded and outfitted character shows up with a car that costs as much as a house, an arsenal that would make a small country drool and then … a $50…

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27 Jan

Last week was a good week for wildlife and birdwatching at our place, up here in the north woods.

On the wildlife front, we got a close-up view of an otter opening and expanding some air holes in the ice, out on the lake, thanks to our spotting scope. There’s nothing like spotting scopes to get you close to the action without alarming wildlife.

We also spotted a rabbit in the yard. Now, that’s something you can see in just about any suburban yard, of course, but it’s the first rabbit we’ve seen in months, so we take it as …

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26 Jan

I’ve always maintained that the choice between 8x and 10x in binocular magnification is largely a personal preference and that is still my position. That little bit of extra detail that 10x binoculars deliver is not enough to make a difference as far as what you can see and it typically comes at the cost of reduced steadiness and narrower fields of view compared to 8x binoculars.

That said, I own more 10x binoculars than I do other magnifications, even in my compact binoculars where steadiness is even more of an issue than in full size birding binoculars or hunting …

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25 Jan

I have a rather notorious reputation for sending laptop computers to an early grave by spilling coffee on them. I can’t write without having a coffee cup nearby, so what’s a girl to do?

Fortunately, most binoculars are built of better stuff than laptop computers – I know because I have put my binoculars through the same kind of unintended spill test many times. Over the years, my birding binoculars, compact binoculars and even my astronomy binoculars have had unexpected rendezvous with a wide variety of liquid or semi-liquid agents, ranging from peanut butter, mayonnaise, diet soda, coffee (always coffee), …

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24 Jan

Some of my friends who have aquariums in their home claim great things about the therapeutic benefits of aquariums and I can’t say I disagree with them. For me, watching fish in an aquarium is very relaxing. Unfortunately, I just don’t have a green thumb, so to speak, when it comes to maintaining an aquarium. I’ve sure tried, but any self-respecting fish would be better off with someone else at the aquarium controls.

Besides, I already have my own therapeutic counterpart to an aquarium with my bird feeders. Watching birds through my binoculars and spotting scope from the comfort of …

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23 Jan

A home is not normally considered a great place to do birdwatching and view wildlife, unless your home is in the north woods like ours. Birding binoculars are always within reach and my spotting scope is just steps away. We are happy campers, right in our own home, so to speak.

Does this mean you have to pack up all your belongings and head to the north woods to enjoy wildlife from your home? No, not at all. I’ve lived in urban areas and suburban areas, too, and even in the biggest city, I’ve always had an opportunity to view …

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20 Jan

Birdwatching in the winter is very much a come and go affair. Your bird feeders can be filled with goldfinches and redpolls one day and they are gone the next. That’s all part of the fun, though and yet another reason to constantly watch the feeders with your binoculars.

Still, as much as I love watching the feeders with my binoculars during the winter months, I’m a bit anxious to be out in the woods, again, birding binoculars in hand, actively checking the trees for migrating warblers. That’s still a good three months away, but thats what winter dreams are …

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19 Jan

Okay what is the animal that is sleeping in the pic? Is it a dog? Is it a fox? Maybe a coyote? One of our dogs?

Actually it is a deer and I took the pic with one of our digital cameras from our bedroom window, no less. Our bedroom window looks out on a hillside and I was close enough to get the pic of this backside view of a bedded dear with the lens on our Panisonic Lumix set at 400 mm focal length, no tripod needed, because I braced the lens against the window.

Some of our …

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18 Jan

After weeks, okay months, of seeing the same species of birds at our bird feeders, I just happened to be checking on the feeders with my Nikon Premier LX 10×25 binoculars and (drum roll), I spotted a Common Redpoll. Now redpolls may be common at some locations, but our yard isn’t one of them. I do expect to see a few redpolls every winter, but this current winter has been slim pickings as far as bird diversity at the feeders, so seeing the Common Redpoll in the binoculars was a real treat.

That’s birdwatching for you, though. You can get …

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