A 'mitey' adventure

   I have promised updates to the active barn swallow nest on my property, and I have decided that over a week of neglecting my website it is high time to give some of those updates. It has been several days now since I headed out to the old barn, camera and tripod in hand(s). I set up the tripod and camera in a dark, out of the way corner and hoped that the parents wouldn't notice me. The nest had been built about five years ago on a joist rather close to the wall- I didn't have much to work with when it came to hiding spots to shoot some photos from. So using the first of my collection of two options for a hiding space, I set up my camera and proceeded to wait for the parents to arrive to feed the six hungry babies in the nest. It went well at first, except for the small fact that the parents flew in and completed the feeding in about two seconds, not leaving me much time to photograph the parent while feeding the babies. So instead, I settled for a shot of the babies peering at me over the rim of the nest.

Four of the six young barn swallows peer over the edge of the nest.

   Somehow, after I had watched about five or so fly-in feedings, one of the parents somehow discovered that I was present, and flew in an altogether frazzled manner all around the barn, chirping exceitedly. I decided that I would switch to plan B, and move to the second hiding place. I did, and ended up regretting the choice, but I will get into that later. I didn't get any decent photos from that position either, so instead I switched to shooting some 1080p HD footage of the feedings. I did get some decent video, and maybe will post some stills from that at a later date. The only decent picture that I managed was when the excited parent (male or female remains unknown) lighted upon a sprayer hose:

One of the excited parents perched atop this sprayer hose long enough for me to get some so-so photographs.

   I was reviewing my video footage when I discovered somthing: I had once again become a victim of mite infestation, and as with the last case, because of swallows (only the last instance was with tree swallows, not barn swallows). Apparently the wood I moved to hide in spot B was mite infested, and for the few seconds it took me to move the wood, a large quantity of mites had crawled onto me. Incase you have never seen a mite in person, then take a look at the dot in this 'i'. That is about how big they are, no exaggeration. I did have fun up until the discovery of the mites, but I'm not sure if it was worth it in the long run, as I had to quarentine the camera and tripod, immeadiately deal with my clothes and take a shower. But now that it is all over, I would say it was worth it (ask me then, and I would have said the opposite).

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