Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I'm In A Funk

I am deeply entrenched in a mid-winter funk (defined by my Webster's dictionary as "a state of depression"). I'm sticking with the term funk because it sounds a little less serious than depression. Unfortunately, this funk has resulted in a lack of blog posts lately. I've been a little busier at work, so there's hardly any time for non-work-related activities (i.e., reading blogs) and when I get home, I am lethargic and uninspired and lack the ambition even to read the posts from the rest of you, my dear blogging friends. So before everyone gives up on me, here's a little post just to let you know I'm still here and that nothing exciting is going on.

Here's Miss Penny enjoying a spot of afternoon sun on her chair by the window.
She had been waiting for the chickadee to come pick up some mealworms, but I chased her back to her chair because she tends to scare the chickadees away from their wormy treat at the window feeder.

Here's a bunch of goldfinches at the thistle seed feeders on my deck. This picture is from a couple weeks ago on one of those below zero Saturdays.
Because of my Project FeederWatch viewing, I have counted as many as 30 goldfinches at one time, but they generally come early in the morning and then I only see a few for the rest of the day. Pine Siskins aren't coming to the feeders anymore either. And I have yet to see a Common Redpoll, although I haven't given up hope for seeing them yet this winter.

The dogs woke me up at 3 AM this morning for a bathroom break. Before going back to bed, I checked the owl perch and sure enough, there he (or she) was. I dug my new monopod out of the drawer and screwed on the camera. Out of the 16 pictures taken, I was able to save 2 that were pretty clear. Once again, all of the surrounding security lights in combination with the low cloud ceiling contributed to good nighttime viewing.
With a little more monopod practice, I may be able to improve my nighttime photo skills.

I am anxiously awaiting spring. My mom reports that cardinals in her neighborhood are singing their spring song for the last two mornings. Although Mr. Groundhog did not see his shadow last Saturday here in our neck of the woods, the chances for an early spring aren't looking too good right now. My local Fleet Farm store is putting out all of the spring gardening supplies: seeds, garden hoses, and decorative statuary and I can only walk down those aisles while sighing deeply.


Anonymous said...

We heard your sighings all the way to our house, hang on girl it's coming. Isn't there a song title "Hear That Funky Music" or something like that.
Read your e-mail I left you a message.

Meggie said...

Sorry to hear that you're in a funk. Ruthie. It's just that darn old cabin fever...too much winter. Our groundhog in PA DID see his shadow so that means 6 more weeks of winter for us. Hope you folks in Minnesota get an early jump on spring. Niss Penny looks like she is enjoyin the sunshine. Our winter days in PA are soooo dreary. However, before I start complaining, we are in the midst of a warm spell...60+ degrees today.

Windyridge said...

At least you had a "spot" of sun. If we don't get some soon instead of this rain and ice I will be in a bigger funk than you!

Mary said...

Ruthie, you are not alone. I'm in a funk, too. We'll get through...even though it was 74 today. It's too odd. 25 degrees above normal. The weekend will be in the teens again.

I enjoyed your post anyway! I'd be excited to have an owl.

Maud said...

Cheer up! I've awarded you the Make my day blogging award. Check out my blog. It's always a joy reading your updates.

Mary C said...

Well, I'm joining the rest of the commenters here and saying "hang in there" friend. It sounds like you haven't been inspired to do any knitting either. Is that true? I asked Mary (Mary's View) if she was planning to do the Backyard Bird Count which is coming up in a couple of weeks. And now I'm asking you the same question. I always look forward to doing the count. I think that's because it seems there are more birds coming to my feeders during that weekend than what I would normally see during the winter. Maybe it's because the days are getting longer and I can watch them for longer periods.

Jayne said...

There is just something about this "tween time" that makes us all feel a bit trapped and restless. Sending love and hugs your way Ruthie. In a few short weeks, the green will come.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

February is a Funky month. It just makes one think winter will never end.

I just love your kitty sitting there in the sun. It looks so sweet. A good lap warmer I bet.

Wish I could look out and see a Great Horned Owl sitting on a post in my front yard. I used to be able to hear one occsaionally but they keep building and building around us. How's that for a depressing thought.?. I better quit while I am ahead.

Chin up girl. Spring will be coming soon. Take time and look at all the color that is being posted on blogs. Maybe that will give you a lift.

Marsha said...

Wishing you a quick end to the funks...when you are playing "that funky music" your mom suggested...I'm sure it will lift. I think everyone who lives in an area with these long gray winters knows exactly how you feel.

I hope things lighten at work and you are soon back with more wonderful posts...I think if I was up at 3 am I would be too tired to drag out the monopod and shoot the owls...great job! Speaking of monopods...I looded on ebay..which brand is yours?

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mom,
I'm sure you did hear me sighing!
The song is "Play that Funky Music" and you heard us singing it at Kathy's b-day party the other night (that was fun--maybe we should plan a birthday party every week!)

Hi Meggie,
I think I'm just having trouble getting used to a "normal" Minnesota winter this year. It will be nice to just go outside again without having to dress up like I'm going on an Arctic expedition! I will be very thankful to put my snow boots & all the other winter gear away in the closet when spring finally arrives!

Hi Windyridge,
Rain and Ice? That's the worst! I hope some sunshine breaks out in your area soon.

Hi Mare,
It's nice to know I'm not alone....wouldn't it be so much nicer if we didn't have to go to work every day? (course, I'd probably be in a funk from being poor then!) I know it's gonna get better soon--as soon as I hear my cardinals singing too!

Hi Maud,
Thank you, Thank you! I did see that last night while I was taking some quick, random visits to my blog roll. I'll have to get busy and pass on that award this weekend.

Hi Mary,
Thank you. Actually, I have been doing quite a lot of knitting lately (and even finishing some stuff--I'll have to post some pictures one of these days).
I won't be able to participate in the Backyard Bird Count this year because that's the weekend Lynne and I are going up to the Sax-Zim Birding Festival (I'm really looking forward to that trip!)

Thanks Jayne, you're a sweetie! I know it's just mind over matter and I'm going to take a quilting class on Friday afternoon that I hope will start getting my mind over this matter!

Hi Lisa,
Yup, Penny is an excellent lap warmer, but I really love it when she crawls under the covers at night and curls up right against my chest--because she's so big, she can warm me up pretty quick (too bad she purrs so darn loud, I can't get to sleep!)
I think our owl hangs around because there are still some remnants of forest in the neighborhood--and my trees are getting bigger now too.
I think I need to visit the Como Park Conservatory that Lynne posted some pictures of the other day--that's not too far from me.

Hi Marsha,
I think what I really need is a nice long motorcycle ride somewhere warm!
I have your e-mail address in my home address book--I'll send you the monopod link when I get home this afternoon.

Mary said...

Ruthie, LOL! Without our jobs, the birds would starve...

April said...

I'm sorry you're in a "funk", and I hope you're feeling better soon. Miss Penny is lovely. You really do have some fantastic bird feeders. Always enjoy seeing all the different birds that visit you regularly.

mon@rch said...

We all get that way from time to time! Thanks for updating and great find for sure! Glad you had the monopod!

Lynne said...

Hang on Ruthie! I really think alot of us are getting flattened by the season- cold and gray and dark. To keep my head above water I'm day-dreaming about our Sax-Zim festival weekend. ALOT!!

BTW- thanks for the link to the monopod- I ordered one Monday!!

Meggie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meggie said...

OK Ruthie...enough funk for you...let's go out and play! Right now...hurry, hurry! Seriously, I hope you are feeling a bit better. The song, Play That Funky Music, White Boy...my good friend's brother is the drummer on the record/cd, whatever. The song went platinum sometime ago. The group is Wild Cherry. His name is Ron Beitle. Small world, huh?

RuthieJ said...

Hi April, Thanks for your kind words....I'm working on it.

Hi Mon@rch,
I'm working on kicking my own butt out of this funk! I'm consoling myself with the thought that I may be hearing my first bluebird in about a month (hopefully!)

Hi Lynne,
I heard the long range forecast for next weekend and that temps might be around freezing (woo-hoo!)
Glad you're getting a monopod/walking stick too--maybe we can work out a fun walking stick dance routine at the festival. :-D

Hi Meggie,
I'm working on it and feeling better--thanks to all my blogging friends!
Interesting information about "Play That Funky Music"....I didn't even remember the name of the band. You're right about it being a small world though.

Cathy said...

Oh yes, Ruthie! Hang on! I so understand what you're going through. I've had an awful time this winter.

Still, you're working, taking care of domestic chores AND managing to be creative with your funny squirrel videos and those great photos of that owl.

I'll bet you're even doing needle work.

Wishing you sunshine and the song of the White-throated sparrow.

Ruth said...

This is a wonderful post from someone in a funk. I love the bright pictures (and the owl).

Lynne said...

Dance routine!! LOL!! That would be too funny.
BTW- why do you have a branch duct taped to the pole of your bird feeding station?

RuthieJ said...

Hi Cathy,
Thanks for your kind words....it sounds like lots of us are trying to deal with SADD this winter. As usual, I can't wait for the weekends to sit at home and watch the birds and wildlife and you're right--lots of knitting and crochet projects keeping me busy too.
White Throated Sparrow (sigh) haven't heard one of them since last fall.....

Hi Ruth,
The chance to see an owl in the middle of the night is worth losing out on a little bit of sleep (at least for me)

Hi Lynne,
How about "Me & My Shadow?" A couple of high kicks and some fancy stick twirls thrown in....geez, now I'm making myself laugh
I have branches taped to all of my APS set-ups. It gives the birds lots more places to perch if they have to wait for a turn at the feeding station. I also just like the way it looks--a little more natural instead of just all that black metal! It seems to attract more birds too. When I worked at WBU, I used to recommend this for customers who had trouble attracting birds to a new pole system and everyone reported back with favorable results after attaching a branch. Black duct tape would look better, but I didn't have any at the time.

Lynne said...

Ruthie- your song suggestion just flashed me back to the scene in "Young Frankenstein" when Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle do the dance with canes and top hats!

"...puttin' on the RITZ!"

is it next Friday yet? :)