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Mary, Odie the Scopedawg, our three cats (Minerva, Bacchus and OB) and yours truly love our home on a six acre lake outside of Highland, Illinois that I have unabashedly christened Lake Joe. We also happen to be about an hour from the point of greatest duration for the Big E, just outside of Carbondale, FYI. Our tranquil environs bring us an endless parade of bird species that visit our feeders and peck at the cracked corn and stale Doritos we leave for them.

I was very pleasantly surprised to discover the smaller of two telescopes I acquired for astro-imaging, a beautiful 2.5 inch refractor with a 400mm focal length from Astro-Tech, performed double duty as an excellent birding scope with my Canon DSLR attached. Even with such fine hardware I was subject to the whims and flights of fancy the birdies taunted me with. The plan is to capture as many poses as you can and hope that a few will clean up nicely and be candidates for wall hanging or at least a screen saver. Every once in a while the image is perfectly exposed and focused and your friend is perched and looking back at you as if to say, proceed.

When chasing da birdies, ya gotta be fast on your feet and quick on the shutter!

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