Wednesday, July 29, 2009

back at it.


Back at the desk since yesterday morning...started both days, however, elsewhere, the dentist yesterday (Gold-Tooth Gertie, that's me) and this morning at the lab. Bloodwork accomplished promptly...but Dr. B was very thorough, BHH, in her requisition this time around, and I left FURNISHED with a specimen kit and elaborate instructions covering the next three days. Actually, the next six, since one can't take Vitamin C for three days beforehand or the three days during. (The diagnosis is "scurvy," you say?)

And that's ALL I want to say about that. Believe me.

Time away was lovely. Blazing hot weather, and mountains, and hot springs, and birds, and flowers, and a sufficiency of mammalia.

A great initial glee in the whole thing upon arrival at the portal of our National Mountain Wonderland. I asked for an annual pass (hang-tag, goes on the rear-view mirror).

"Yes, ma'am; tell me, are you a senior?"
"Well, in two weeks I'll be a senior."
"Thank you, ma'am, then you're a senior."

So on that splendidly logical basis I have a senior's park pass, which in turn entitled (!) me to all sorts of dizzying discounts, sometimes as much as fifty cents.

And I thought -- "I'm an OLD LADY!!! I have a government-issue hang-tag, that says so, in both official languages! Woot!!! Now let's see, what can I get away with, on this basis?"

The three "B's" suggest themselves -- Birding, Botanizing, and Badgering total strangers with pointless reminiscences...

The Birding was fun -- dozens and dozens of OSPREYS along the way. And I even watched one fishing (not catching, alas)... they jump into the water feet first like a little boy off a diving board, with a great splash, going completely out of sight. Then after emerging, on about the fourth wingbeat, they shake themselves dry in midair, like a wet dog only airborne. Just wonderful...

Also on the list a white-crowned sparrow, a hummingbird, and a three-toed woodpecker. I appreciate that to non-bird people this will not convey a great deal. But it was a kind of thrill even so.

Botanizing is made easier with a digital camera (new toy); just take a pic of that sucker and haul it back to the shelter of vehicle or motel and thumb through the flower guide until a match appears... I now feel confident I can identify Linnaea borealis as far away as I can see it. Which isn't far, it's about matchhead-sized.

When it comes to flowers'n'them, I realize -- I don't even know the language of description yet. "It has leaves, some, and a stem, and a flower, and it's red, and it's not a carnation..." but an axil? a carpal? a drupe? all terra incognita.

NEVER MIND. These things can be learned, that's the good news.

Off to photocopy the Life List from Peterson's Guide to Western Birds!

3 comments:

Chorus said...

And what of the Badgering? You told nothing of the Badgering!!

Tim Chesterton said...

Too bad I can't get away with 'In fifteen years I'll be a senior...!!!'

Loved your bird list, and really loved the osprey descriptions! Thank you!

Song in my Heart said...

Interesting; I find plant identification much easier than bird identification. The plants don't tend to move when I try to get a closer look.