Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Doozy of a Day

Today I planned to drive to Magnolia, MS to take my dad to the doctor. Due to a ferocious thunderstorm that raged right over my route, the hour and fifteen minute drive turned into a two-and-a-half hour terrifying ordeal. It was the second time this year that I experienced a panic attack behind the wheel of my car. Rain, 18-wheelers, and interstates put me in terror mode. I had to pull over on five different occasions, my heart palpitating wildly and hands so sweaty they were slipping off the steering wheel. My entire body was trembling, rigid, and frozen with fear. I was praying for valium to fall into my lap or for the rain to cease. This is becoming a real problem, especially since it rains so much here. Thank God I made it through.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a gorgeous day so Double D is driving me to Lake Martin to see the Roseate Spoonbills. I don't really have anything new to post, but I wanted to share another shot of the grosbeak and new poses from our usual cast of characters. Will catch up with y'all tonight. Wish me luck at Lake Martin! :)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak

American Goldfinch in crape myrtle

American Goldfinch in Indian Hawthorns

American Goldfinch in crape myrtle

American Goldfinch in angel statue

Cardinal in angel statue

European Starling causing a ruckus


Downy or hairy woodpecker. Does anyone know how to tell them apart?

45 comments:

David Oliver said...

I am glad that everything worked out okay. I hate driving in those nasty rain storms. My daughter and her fiance just got back from vacation Tuesday, they had the brilliant to (try) the all night drive. It started raining and snowing to the point where they gave up and rented a room for the night.

Linda said...

I haven't had the panic attack experience while driving, but I've begun to notice that I have symptoms of them occasionally. At first, I was calling it claustrophobia, but I believe it's more along the lines of panic attack. Anyway, you have my empathy.

What beauties you've captured here. Every one of them is just so perfect. But, oddly, the fluffed-up starling is my pick today. I've never thought starlings pretty; but, through your lens, they're beautiful.

Gone Country said...

I'm so glad you made it there and back safe and sound. Interstates are scary enough these days without the weather adding to it.

You have such a variety of birds visit you. They're all gorgeous and you've captured them beautifully!

Now, put your feet up and relax tonight!

Wally Jones said...

Hi, Gail! Simply superb quality photographs! I am totally jealous!

Looks like a Downy Woodpecker. The Hairy has a much larger bill and is not as "dainty" looking as the little Downy. Look at the cheek and notice how the white area starts to narrow a bit near the back of the head. On the Hairy, this area is a bit wider and gives the bird the appearance of having a "whiter" head. Finally, the Downy very often has spots or bars on the outer tail feathers whereas the Hairy's outer tail is all white.

Hope this helps!

I've really been enjoying your posts and excellent images! Sorry I haven't commented more often but will try to fix that!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Oh no! I wish I couldve driven it for you...sounds like a miserable experience!

Karen said...

Terrific shots Gail! I love the ruffled looking Starling!

Chatty Crone said...

I am glad you made it to where you are going! I hate to drive in torrential rain too.

Gosh - the birds are so pretty - red - yellow - and I think even purple - I don't get how you get all those beautiful birds but I do enjoy seeing them.

sandie

Nancy said...

It certainly seems you had a guardian angel watching over you through this experience....I know it must have been very scary.....

As always your photographs are so awesome. I can't wait to see what you come back with tomorrow...Have fun....

TexWisGirl said...

really sorry about the harrowing experience today! terrifying to drive in that kind of weather. i'm glad it did not end worse!

as for the woodpecker, i agree with wally. beautiful shots, gail. have a much more relaxing day tomorrow!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

SOunds like a rough ride you were on. Glad you are now home and safe. The pictures are stunning.
You definitely have a Downy Woodpecker there. One other ID mark is that the Downy has those black lines on the underside of his tail and the Hairy does not.

Evelyn S. said...

So smart to pull over, Gail! Hopefully, there were pull-over places! OMG...these are such terrific bird images! I think I NEED a 400mm lens! (No spending of any kind for several months...saving my "slush fund" dollars to pay the $2800 for the photographer at our youngest son's wedding in August!) Can't wait to see the new images.

Linda said...

Sorry to hear that your drive was so frightening!

Love the bird photos! That angel is a wonderful element too.

Jacquelineand.... said...

Oh goodness Gail, so sorry you had such a terrible drive but glad you made it through safely!
Your photos are gorgeous but my goodness, does Mr. Starling have an attitude and a half. Have a wonderful, relaxing day.

Carole M. said...

FABULOUS birds; every one; especially the goldfinch

Brian King said...

Fantastic shots! I love the grosbeak! Our goldfinches are finally bright yellow. Ditto what the others said on the woodpecker. The Hairy's bill is noticeably larger.

Sorry about the driving ordeal. That would make things miserable.

Terri said...

Awesome shots! Sorry about your scary trip. I just stay off the interstate these days. I have become an expert at finding short cuts & alternate routes on the back roads and just leave earlier to make up the time difference. This saves my sanity, and no more anxiety attacks.

Mamabug said...

What gorgeous bird shots! Love that pretty male cardinal.

Buttons said...

Oh Gail I am sorry I understand this part of driving in the winter here it can get very bad I am OK on the back roads and highways but when the 18 wheelers are there beside me I panic too. Take care my friend.

Gorgeous Photos. Hug B

acreativeharbor.com said...

Fantastic photography of nature's beautiful birds ~ wishing you well today ~ and sending lots of healing hugs ~ Enjoy ^_^

beth said...

i'm so sorry about your panic attacks....damn weather i tell you :(

but hey, the birds as always are amazing !!!

Noushka said...

Wonderful series of your garden birds!
How I'd love to have those in mine!
The Cardinal especially is striking... Even when I lived in NC I never saw one! :(
Great photos, Gail, congratulations and keep safe from panic attacks, it is indeed terrifying.

Tricia Hays said...

you know i love your photography, but i'm giddy over the statue & birdie shots! WoW =)

Renae at simple sequins said...

Wow! Gail, tremendous captures here. My goodness gracious, I could stare at your photos ALL day! Too bad the rainstorm was horrid. I don't like to drive in storms, rain nor snow. I'm glad you were safe. I'm glad I have inspired you for you springtime/summertime footwear. Don't be worried about the color of your sandals going with your outfit. Hey, you gave me a great idea for another type of Pinterest insprired post. See we inspired each other. Oh and I love the Rose-breasted Grosbeak the most this time.

Charlotte Wilson said...

That is very scary to drive through a storm. We had a storm here last night and I had 3 scared dogs in bed with me.
Gail, now when are you going to have a book made of your bird photos? You have so many excellent pictures that you will have a very hard time choosing...but I am just saying...

:o)

Patrice said...

That rain was pretty hairy, Gail - we got it about 10 pm last night! Have fun at Lake Martin!

She Who Carries Camera said...

My Oh My! Gail, these are glorious! The color and clarity are outstanding! I, too, have suffered a couple of times from panic attacks so I can totally relate! Xanax, my friend! :-)

Jori said...

Gorgeous photo's! What is the second to last bird? I had one in my yard this week. SO sorry about your drive! I agree, bad weather combined with 18 wheelers is not good! They kick up so much mist it's impossible to see, plus I don't think they are too concerneed about slowing down.

Donna said...

Wally is correct that is a downy...when you see a hairy you will know it as it is bigger with a much bigger bill...lots of birds stopping by here and the garden is a frenzy of activities.

I had to overcome those panic attacks when driving in bad snow or bad rain...it still gets to me though.

Hilary said...

Poor you.. I don't envy your drive one bit. I'll save my envy for your always gorgeous bird photos. All stunners.

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Always Gail - so completely amazing!! That grosbeak is beautiful!!
I am glad that you got where you were suppose to go with your Dad! I've frozen up before behind the wheel. Driving from Atlanta to Florida to visit my dad - my husband was watching the radar and would call me on my drive down to tell me that there was another huge cloud burst where I would have to pull over because of the blinding rain!! I yelled at him and wouldn't answer the phone because I was freaking out. that 7 hour drive became a 10 hour drive!! Pray that you had a wonderful day today at Lake Martin!

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Your drive sounds horrid and so glad God was watching over you and with you. You were smart, Gail, to pull over; very safe move!

jan@twoscoopz said...

Popping by to see you, my bird-whisperer friend.
Hope all is well!
These are beautifully done, as always.
xoxo

Shug said...

Those kind of weather conditions can really be stressful...glad you all were safe. I detest driving in conditions that are wet, especially when those 18 wheel trucks pass by so fast and make a splash so bad that you can't see.
I am certain that you are going to have some good stuff for us this next week. Can't wait to see photos.

ladyfi said...

What glorious shots! Glad you made it through the bad weather.

Anni said...

Well, I can relate to driving terror in stormy weather. The highways are slick, and the maniac drivers surrounding you behind, beside and in front of you have absolutely NO SENSE to slow down for the hazardous conditions. Once when we were coming back from San Antonio, the rain was so dense, I could NOT see beyond the windshield wipers, I was afraid to pull over 'cause no one would be able to see us pulled off the road. Glad you made it safely to your destination. And I hope your father is well.

Your birds photos, Gail, are fabulous. And the crape [or crepe?] myrtle are already blooming in your area? Not here. ;o(

I'm posting from my birding blog admin this afternoon right now instead of Hootin' Anni's. I have two new posts for each, finally, after a busy week.

Anni said...

ps....I think this is a downy by the way. Downy's are small...the hairy are quite a bit larger.


http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/AboutBirdsandFeeding/woodpeckerIDtable.htm

Mitzi said...

I believe the weather played games with both of us my friend. These photos are simply lovely. I love how you know exactly what it is you are taking pics of. Sending warm hugs your way...xoxo

eileeninmd said...

Just beautiful, Gail! The Grosbeak is one of my favorites and the Goldies are so pretty. Gorgeous shots.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I love the Downy Woodpecker pic and of course I always love the Goldfinch pics :)

Barbara Shallue said...

I've been in storms like that and it is so scary - glad you made it okay even if it took you so long! Thanks for sharing more of these beautiful birds with us - I love that one of the Starling causing a ruckus!!

Phil said...

Absolutely super shots Gail. The goldfinch colours really do stand out against the white background. I couldn't remember how to differentiate between Downy and Hairy and then I saw that Wally has sorted it for you - he knows the score. By the way when ringing in Canada we Brits renamed Rose-breasted Grosbeak with the new Latin name of Vicius grippius - yes it is that strong. It hurt if the bird grabbed an unwary finger.

Linda R said...

That panic attack sounds pretty scary. So glad you made it through the storm.

Awesome photos once again my friend.

Hugs~

Rosie Grey said...

I hate driving through a thunderstorm or a heavy rain as such, so I'm glad you arrived without accident!
I love, love, love your photos! So beautiful - especially with that angel statue!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Every single picture is just perfect and the birds with the angel could and should be sold as greeting cards or stationery...they are so wonderful.

(Sorry I wasn't here to offer encouraging words re your panic attacks...I was missing in action ... not a very good blog friend. That kind of rain is frightening.)

hootnonny said...

So sorry about the panic attacks, Gail. You must travel with paper bags in the future so you can breathe into them...at least I think that's how you do it! The birds are wonderful...nobody does birds better!