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Sauk Centre, Minnesota: near the corner of Ash Street and South 9th.
(Please, be patient. The live streaming video starts after a (relatively) short canned commercial.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Slight Adjustment, and the New Feeder's Ready to Go

I noticed that the new feeder's chain is a bit too long - or the webcam's pointed a bit to high - and I wasn't going to change the webcam's angle. Most of the time, the view of south Ash Street is the main attraction here.

So, a few minutes ago, I went out and hooked the chain back on itself, making a loop.

I could have left the hook as-is - oh, well.

New Season, New Feeding Gadget

Or, winterizing the bird feeder.

Since there's been no activity at the feeder since I last filled it - apart from a few insects and a curious chickadee - I'm assuming that the last of the hummingbirds have headed south. They'll be welcome back, in May.

This afternoon I walked to the hardware store and got a sort of tray/cage arrangement and a cake of birdseed and sugar to put in it. It's a sort of trail mix for finches, apparently.

The cage's hook was too small for my feeder pole, but a minute or two with a needle-nose pliers took care of that.

Now, it's a matter of waiting for birds to find the thing.

This is the first year I've tried this. It should be interesting.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Whaddaya Mean, 'It's Unplugged?!'

Last night, around 10:00, I discovered that my computer couldn't find my webcam - which meant that I couldn't 'broadcast' anything on Ustream. Quite a long time time, and several reboots, later I discovered that the webcam's power source had gotten unplugged. How, I still don't know.

Still later, I talked the computer into recognizing the webcam again.

Frustrating: but with a happy ending.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hummingbirds, Chicadees, and Seasons

I'd been wondering why I haven't seen any hummingbirds at the feeder this week. Particularly since just a couple weeks ago, they'd been taking an unusual amount of nectar.

This may be the answer: "Ruby-throats arrive in May and leave in September." ("Hummingbird Migration," The Hummingbird Website)

No wonder I haven't seen any - looks like they fueled up and headed south.

On the other hand, I saw a chickadee perch on the feeder's pole this morning. It's a rare winter when the chickadees leave Minnesota. But it's been known to happen.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Filling the Feeder: Back to One Cup at a Time

I re-filled the hummingbird feeder a few minutes ago.

After almost two weeks, the two cups I'd put in weren't used up. That's too long to let sugar-water sit without changing and cleaning, so I'm going back to one cup at a time, and more frequent re-fills.

Whatever happened to empty the feeder so fast, last month, hasn't happened again.

Oh, well: I'm still seeing hummingbirds out there.

Related post:

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What a Nice Day!

Looks like a beautiful day out there. It's nice to write a post now and again, when there isn't some technical glitch to discuss.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Online Research, Unintended Consequences, and a Quarter-Hour Offline

I was researching a quote for another blog about a quarter of an hour ago, when I found a promising resource: an online book.

It must have been a really, really good resource: as soon as I used its search function and 'turned' a few pages, my computer slowed down. And more and more memory was getting devoted to that website's very fancy software.

Other programs that I was running froze: but that old standby, the 'reset' button still worked.

And, kicked this webcam offline.

Now, after five operating system updates and a stern talk with my browser, I'm back.

And, more to the point, so is the webcam.

I don't plan to have any more SNAFUs like that today - but then, I didn't plan this one, either.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

The webcam's back online. If you tried to watch Friday afternoon or evening, and couldn't: sorry about that! If you checked around that time, and the transmission was okay - that's a sigh of relief you're hearing from me.

I had to reboot the computer, you see: and wasn't able to tell whether the webcam had stopped broadcasting before that.

Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Webcam's Back! - After a Really Simple Fix

About five minutes ago, the webcam came online again. Finally.

I'd spent hours over the last 13 days, going from obvious fix-it procedures like rebooting the computer to spelunking through the digital depths of the system, trying to figure out what had happened, and how to correct it.

Our schedules finally left us free at the same time, so my son and I got together after lunch. He's 13.

He read the email I got from USTREAM, sat down at the keyboard, looked at the user interface, said something like 'I see what the problem is: You don't have "Video Broadcast" selected.' He clicked the checkoff box, and this webcam was back online.

That's why the better trouble-shooting guides start with questions like 'is the unit plugged in?' and 'is the power switch set to the "on" position?'

There's already been a hummingbird at the feeder, since that shazam! moment. They're generally just blurs on the screen: but there's the traffic and trees to see.

School opens next week: There'll be quite a bit of activity then, around 8:00 and 3:00.

Related posts:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hummingbird Feeder's Filled, Webcam's Still Offline

Good news: Hummingbirds are using the feeder so much, now I'm putting in two cups of sugar water at a time. I cleaned and re-filled it this afternoon.

Bad news: the webcam's still offline, so you won't see them - or anything else new.

School's starting next week: I'm hoping to get back online by then. Of course, hoping and doing are two distinct things.
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