Sunny Tulips

Sunny Tulips

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

The birds...the birds...

Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Late April, early May found me moving carefully.

One of the warning signs at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Madison, Wisconsin

I didn't want to disturb the birds. They had nests to build and eggs to hatch.

When I walked through the gardens with my camera I did my best to stay on the brick paths that kept a slight distance from the bushes and trees.

Yes, a couple of times, anxious red wing blackbird papas, or fathers-to-be, let out great attack cries and swooped down to make flying attacks at the back of my head.

It was very annoying, but I understood the reason. They were being good parents and protecting their babies.

Side Yard © Janis Nussbaum Senungetuk

It's now past the first week of August,

 although those baby birds of early May

should be ready for a life on their own or graduate school,

those very vigilant papa blackbirds have continued to terrorize me.

Lilies and Bee © Janis Nussbaum Senungetuk

Each time I've paid a visit to Olbrich I've been attacked.                                                 At 4'9" I'm so low to the ground, do they think I'm a raccoon?

Scarlet Lilies © Janis Nussbaum Senungetuk

Today's the day I return to the gardens.  Cap on head, propelled by optimism, off I go to capture more of those beautiful images.

But...if this early evening you're driving on Atwood Avenue

and you see a very short, rather stout woman

running from Olbrich...

you'll know the bird have won.



  1. We've had similar problems walking along the Edgewood boardwalk through the marsh. Dive bombers everywhere. We finally found that carrying a stick with a lot of branches on it upright above your head, sort of like an umbrella frame with no fabric on it, really helps. You look stupid, but it either confuses the birds or frightens them off. In any event, they leave you alone.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion Peter, but I need to use both arms to steady the camera. Do you think the stick with branches would still be effective if I leaned it against something while I focused and shot? Late afternoon on Sunday when I arrived at Olbrich, the birds seemed very quiet. There were many people walking in the gardens and finally, I was able to shoot without getting attacked. I haven't been back since.


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