10/17/13

Peanut Envy

Call me a Birdcam Buffoon, but I think there's some user error afoot here. Yesterday was a busy day, but not too busy for me to be messing endlessly with my new Birdcam. Before I go on (and forget what I'm talking about), several of you have asked me about the Birdcam. Everything you'll want to know about it can be found right here. So here's what's been going on in Birdcam land:

As you know, my first outing with it ended with 78 images of which only 3 contained actual birds. No problem there. It was a windy day, and the wind was obviously setting off the motion sensor. You can see my first three images right here. Since I had so many shots without birds, I decided to turn down the sensitivity. That turned out to be a big mistake because I was disappointed when I checked it yesterday morning and found not a single shot.

Plan B had me switching out the suet cake for the peanut feeder. The peanut feeder gets by far and away the most activity. The blue jays will empty it in less than an hour. So here is yesterday's catch:


Pay attention to the time stamps in these images. There were 30 in all, but I'll only show you the ones I need to make my point. The bird in the image above is a scrub jay. The camera is set to fire four images for each motion, and to wait one minute between detected movements (I hope that makes sense). So then, in the image below, you see the same bird.


Below is the next image that features a bird. Notice the time stamp, but then, notice the level of the peanuts.


Clearly birds have been eating the peanuts, but they were not caught in the act. The next image on the "roll" is shown below. Notice the level of the peanuts and the time stamp. A full hour has gone by. The level of the peanuts is down, but there are no images of birds.


Then here's the next one, about 25 minutes later.


And the next one 15 minutes later. Notice the level of the peanuts.


Here's a bird at the same time.


Then in the next image, 17 minutes later, all the peanuts are gone! And no bird photos!


Okay, clearly something is rotten in Denmark. (And may I just say that I'm feeling pretty CSI about this whole thing.)

So I gave this some thought last night and decided to read the instructions again this morning. What I think is happening is that I have a Wifi memory card loaded into the camera, and that the camera is shutting down on taking images to allow them to upload to whatever computer it thinks it's attached to...which is no computer because I've just been removing the card and bringing it inside to upload. So this morning I brought the whole shebang inside and set the sensitivity as high as it would go, switched out the memory card for a non Wifi card. I could have switched off the Wifi function, but I wanted to give it a bigger memory card for the increased sensitivity. 

In the meantime, I took off the pictures captured since yesterday. Obviously, I switched out the empty peanut feeder for the suet cake again. The blue jays will eat anything. Here's what I got:



The next one is a Steller's jay.


I refilled the peanut feeder and with the camera set to its highest sensitivity, I should get lots of pictures. The Wifi won't get in the way any more, and so I'm hoping I have the magic formula nailed down. I'll know better later on today. Incidentally, the jays were squawking at me wanting me to fill up the peanuts. They are a gang of thugs if you ask me.

Thanks to everyone who expressed their concern about Gracie's bad day yesterday. She came through her teeth cleaning with flying calico colors. We were able to pick her up early, and she didn't seem the slightest bit groggy from the anesthesia. This morning she was very perky, running all around, and generally feeling good. And her teeth are positively gleaming!


I have some housework to do this morning, and then I'm going to get going quilting the White Trees quilt. I think I have some good ideas about how to quilt it (always the most difficult part of the project...coming up with ideas), and so I'm itching to get going on it.

I did finish a quilt top this morning...a rather unconventional one. It's the quilt top my quilted snowladies are snuggling under.


Obviously, I still have a ways to go to finish all of the embroidery, but the quilts in these take the most time. Once I have the quilt finished, the rest of it goes like lightning...if by "lightning" you are referring to molasses.

Updated to say that I'm linking up to Slow Sunday Stitching.


So off I go. It's a stay-at-home day...the very best kind of day.

Oh yes, and I almost forgot...power to the people! It's over! And sanity reigns supreme once again. (For now.)



22 comments from clever and witty friends:

gpc said...

I think the Bird Cam is exciting. Yay for sanity -- well, three months of sanity actually, so only pseudo sanity. But yay!

quiltzyx said...

So VERY CSI of you to figure that bird cam out! At least the jays are pretty, even if they are thugs.

I'm surprised that Gracie wasn't showing off her shiny teeth!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

We no longer put peanuts out - not only because of the thug jays, but the squirrels overrun the place. Oh, Gracie girl - smile for the camera!

Lisa said...

Love this post, pictures are funny and pretty. Glad your fur-baby is doing good. If you have a minute, please say a prayer for my oldest dachshund "Sophie". She got up this morning with some strong sensitivity in her left front paw and/or leg. We crated her for the first half of the day and hubby said when he came home at lunch she was some better but still not herself.. My sweet baby...

Lyndsey said...

Great post, love the disappearing peanuts and lack of birds. Hope the new settings work. Gracie is looking very perky.

Kate said...

Fingers crossed that you've got the bird camera debugged.

Glad Gracie came through well. DT is crabby, but isn't doing too badly after her round with the oral dentist.

Very appropriate picture at the end. Let's hope congress gets smarter

Junebug613 said...

I'm enjoying the bird cam! Your "Blue Jays" are very different from ours! I'm looking forward to seeing the birds from the other coast. The quilt on the snow ladies is very pretty! I like the colors. Yay for Gracie coming through her ordeal so well. :)

WoolenSails said...

That is funny, would have never thought of that.
YOu are getting some nice photos though and I notice that when I enlarge it, it looks better, so the quality is how it comes off on the computer. A photoshop sizing would be nice on them.

Debbie

Patti said...

Completely because of your protest picture and my not-quite-so nice letter, I'm sure!

Jacque said...

Yay! Your protest worked! LOL I was beginning to think you had a squirrel with super powers who was so fast that the camera didn't catch him.... :)

Brown Family said...

I know it is silly to have to reread directions, but sometimes that is the only way to fix the problem!

Tami C said...

This was a great post! I really enjoyed the pictures of your gang of thugs. They really are pretty birds. You'll be getting some good pictures soon. Glad Gracie is feeling nice and perky. I really like your snowladies. That's going to be a great quilt! I'm really glad all of our federal workers are back to work. Power to the People!

Dana Gaffney said...

Watching the peanuts dissapear made me think the squirrels are very devious.
Power to the people! Thanks for all of your hard work fighting for right, I know you had a huge part in fixing things. The insane are still in office so I'm pretty sure the insanity is far from over, keep your pictures ready.

legato1958 said...

Wow! Love what you are taking with the bird camera! Those blue jays are beautiful but bossy and flying pigs! The Eastern bluejays chase birds away here, and do come flying at you when you are near the feeders. Good thing you are patient and have been trying to figure out all of the nuances of the camera and the memory cards! Way to go!!

Glad Gracie is back to normal! She is such a sweetie!
Can't wait to see what other birds you capture on the BirdCam !
Susie

n Carter said...

Well, I was wondering if maybe you had some kind of stealth birds at your feeder. Or maybe invisible birds. That would have been cool! (But very hard to capture on film!)
Good luck with the adjustments to the camera.

Diane Wild said...

The bird pics are great but don't you just hate the techno glitches? Very frustrating but rewarding when you get them figured out. Love those snow ladies.

Patrica said...

This bird camera thingy is a real treat. I can't wait to see what it will capture next - a squirrel raid perhaps? That's what mine would have or more likely a bear!

A Nudge said...

You are my techno-inspiration - your posts are always fun and interesting. Has Gracie seen this blog? http://sarahdidit.blogspot.com/2013/10/feline-friday-101813.html
She'd make a great addition to it.

Dar said...

You had me almost convinced to order a Bird Cam too. I love the idea and your pictures of the birds. But now that I think you need more to be more techie savvy, I'm not sure it's for me. Glad you figured it out. Maybe by Christmas I'll change my mind. Glad Gracie is smiling again.

Carla A Few Of My Favorite Things said...

Oh my glad you figured that out, I went back thru the pics to see if his tummy was getting bigger LOL Love your embroidery and see can why those quilts would take a while, but well worth the time.

Deb A said...

Great shots of the birds and so smart of you to figure it out. Love your little stitchery and 'congrats' on the quilt finish! Every little part finished should be celebrated.

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

When I first saw the picture of the feeder I thought it was for squirrels :) I know that jays like peanuts but didn't realize there was a specific feeder for them...that is pretty awesome, as are your captures! :)