That’s all it takes


I had an education program way out at Chilo Lock #34 park today, one of my favorite birding spots. After the presentation, I was showing some of the kids my Party Favors (heads, feet, wings and feathers) when out of the blue, there was Katdoc! She lives pretty close to the park, and came down to see my program! Now, how cool is that? (Thanks, Kath)
We were talking about the peregrines that are seen at the dam down the road, and Kathi told me not to bother since she had just come from there and she didn’t see any.
I took her word for it, but as I was nearing the dam on the way back, I just had to turn in, just to have a peek. And I am so glad I did!
Behold: A Snow goose. Life bird #117.

Snow goose 1

Snow goose 2

I couldn’t even believe my eyes. It was hanging out with a flock of Canada geese, and I was pretty far away, so I almost didn’t give them a second glance. But I had the scope with me, so I set it up in the lee of a tree (the wind was of the type that slices through you like frozen razor blades) and aimed it at the geese to practice. And there it was.
Thank goodness there was a birder down the way, and I walked down and introduced myself (turns out that he had been at my program) and asked him to look at the goose and confirm it.
Thanks, Steve Wagner!
We don’t get too many snow geese around here, just isolated sightings here and there. And I found it all by myself.
*Boom shaka laka laka* Boom shaka laka laka*

When I got home, Geoff suggested that we all go get some dinner and decided on Burger King since it has a playground for the girls to burn up their energy. We rarely get to go out to dinner with all four of us present, so it was a nice change…I love my family.

Lorelei slide

Isabelle slide

And for some reason, Geoff and I were enticed to climb the jungle gym and go down the slide.
(I remember Geoff saying something about what a good blogging opportunity it was…that did it) This was no ordinary slide: It was in the shape of a corkscrew and was pitch black inside.
Geoff was brave…he went down head first.

Geoff slide

I was yelling and laughing so hard, I couldn’t sit up. I thought it would be a simple, short slide just a “whee!” and that’s all. Well, this damn thing went on and on and I couldn’t see where I was going and I was all like “Aiiiiiiiiiii!!”

Susan slide

Have I mentioned that I love Flickr?
I made this movie poster last night:

My Movie Poster

Click on the picture to go to flickr and enlarge it. There’s quite a cast of characters listed…hopefully you can read the fine print.

As far as my last post:
Thank you for all of your supportive words and encouragement. Sometimes, that’s all it takes.


I love FLickr and Flickers

I was good today. No below-freezing treks through an unknown bit of forest. All I did was drop the girls off and go to a park and sit in my car, returning RAPTOR calls.
I was so goofy last night. If I left a nonsensical comment on your blog, I apologize. And hopefully I made you laugh.
Word of the Day:

conflate \kuhn-FLAYT\, transitive verb:
1. To bring together; to fuse together; to join or meld.
2. To combine (as two readings of a text) into one whole.

princess dirty face

Princess Dirty Face. She had snuck into the Cheetos while I was passed out on the couch this afternoon. This is one of her birthday presents. An Ariel (Little Mermaid for those of you without little girls in your life) wedding gown with a hoop skirt.

orange house finch

I have seen both yellow-tinged and orange-tinged male house finches at the feeders this winter. This one is leaning on the orange side. Red feathers are an expensive feather to grow if you are a bird, and the redness of the bird is in direct correlation to the fitness of the bird. I read an article today that suggests that orange and yellow house finches may be related to the occurance of avian pox in the population. Interesting.

looking through the bars

“Nobody knows…the trouble I’ve seen…nobody knows…my sorrow”

flicker eye

I had a bit of joy arrive with a female yellow-shafted Northern Flicker.

flicker 1

I have always seen them in the backyard, grabbing ants from the base of our trees, but today was the first time I saw one at the suet feeder. Interesting fact: They have barbed tongues, to help them lap up ants. Yummy. And for Laura, our Spanish guru: Their name in Spanish is
carpintero alirrojo.

fat flicker

Fat Flicker.

back of flicker

They are so utterly gorgeous. This was the first yellow-shafted I have seen, also.

yellow shafted

Those yellow feathers were mesmerizing.

flicker on the sidewalk

She got spooked by the ginormous flock of starlings that wanted a piece of the suet too. So she sat on our sidewalk and glared at them.
But flickers also make me sad.
October 19, 2004 was the first time I saw a flicker in our yard. It was also the first time my Dad had ever been admitted to a hospital. And that was the day he died.
So when I see a flicker, I go back to that day, talking on the phone with my cousin Mary Lou, telling her about Dad going to the hospital because he had a fever. I was looking out the kitchen window, all excited about seeing my first yard flicker. And about 8 hours later, Dad was gone.

a towhee says what

And just to end this post with a little brevity:
“A towhee says WHAT?”

I will be copying this post into my other blog to see how it goes.
What is keeping me from going back over there for good is the fact that some of you couldn’t view the WordPress blog. If you still can’t, let me know.

Guess who’s back (for now)?

Recognize that chin?


Here’s the story:

I got a call yesterday from the rescue who found a home for Boomer. The family didn’t want him anymore, and the rescue had to return him to us. (I had no idea that was an option…when I said goodbye to him, I thought it was forever)

The adoptive family said that he “tore up their laundry room” and had “separation anxiety” and “escaped from his crate” and “wouldn’t eat”. I don’t buy it. These people obviously didn’t know how to deal with a Boston Terrier (high energy dogs who need mental stimulation as well as exercise), and he has eaten 3 cups of food since he has been here today.

So I guess we are back to the “fatten up Boomer” diet. He’s not quite as bony as when I first saw him at the shelter, but he’s not healthy.

We are back to where we started. The cats are back in the basement, Boomer is sleeping on our bed right now (he loves Geoff) and we still have to find him a home…the rescue suggested a trainer who could help us introduce Boomer to cats and maybe help them all co-exist. I doubt it.

So here is what Boomer needs:

A home with no cats. Ever.

A family who knows about Bostons and their needs (exercise, companionship, brain work).

A lot of love.

What he has going for him:

He is a wonderfully loving little dog.

He is neutered and up to date on all his vaccinations.

He is micro-chipped.

He is ready for play at any time, or being a couch potato anytime.

I am willing to drive as long as I need to to get him to a new home. Anyone want to give him a try? He’s so wonderful. And he deserves a second (and third) chance.

He remembered me, obviously…he just about tore a hole in the woman’s car when he saw me.

I added this picture just because I was proud of it. I made homemade pizza tonight, and Isabelle helped (but she ate more pepperoni than she actually got onto the pizza) and I made a smiley face on it for her. And it was so delicious…an obscene amount of cheese on this bad boy.

Sigh…I love Boomer. The girls love Boomer. Nellie loves Boomer. Geoff even loves Boomer. (Geoff told me that he can stay as long as I can handle the cats being stuck in the basement)

Someone help!