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!


Annie's Mom 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.