Friday, March 13, 2009

Swarovski bin repairs & Cedar Waxwings

I need to start by saying that I'm not getting to blog as often as I like these days. I think I mentioned I started a new job and I've not had as much free personal time to blog as I had before, and I feel like the blog is suffering from it. I've missed several meme's that I used to participate in more - specifically Wordless Wednesdays and Skywatch Fridays. I've not even been able to do my Weekly Woodpecker Roundup the last few weeks! Hopefully things will change - especially as woodpecker activity is up here in the northeast as they are declaring territories. Also, there have been new rumblings about the IBWO. For a quick review see John's Ivory Bill Madness post, Cyberthrush's Ivory-Bills LiVE blog, and especially the new Ivory Bill Photo Project courtesy of Gary Erdy, Mary Erdy and Steve Sheridan.

One of the main reasons for this post is to tell you about a great experience I had with Swarovski Optik North America (SONA). I mentioned that last weekend I met Gail Fisher, the repair manager for SONA, and she encouraged me to send in my ELs to be refurbished. I sent them out on Tuesday, fully expecting to be without them for a week or so. I was surprised when a packaged arrived for me today - lo and behold, my binoculars were returned, and they were like new! I took a picture of them before I sent them out - you might be able to tell from this pic that they've seen some good hard use for the last five or so years. I'd worn off the black around the "Swarovski" on the barrel, and they even still have some dried mud on them from when I went down on a muddy leaf-cutter ant mound in Trinidad. What you can't tell is that the eye-cups were really worn and torn. Well, they completely cleaned and refurbished them and I think that that must've been slightly out of alignment and they fixed that too. This is what they came back looking like!I know that these are mine because the hinged areas are scratched/worn on the metal in the same places as what I sent to the - but otherwise, they look and feel brand new! They replaced the logo, the eye-cups, the rubber armor, and I can't be sure, but I think they might have even replaced some of the optics! Gail - you and your team did a fantastic job!!!

This evening on my way home from work, I noticed a bit of activity in a tree alongside the road. I pulled over and there was a small group of Cedar Waxwings eating the fruit on the tree, and I got a few quick shots off: