January 2nd, 2006


(no subject)

Went birdwatching over at Lake Crabtree this morning. It seemed quiet today--saw a fair number of birds, but not the riotous sapsucker carnival or anything. Definitely worth it, though, as I saw six American coots in a tight little line, and got very close to a golden-crowned kinglet, who was bopping through the sedges like a lunatic, upside-down, right-side up, cute as hell. Plus a lot of the usual suspects--juncoes, Indeterminate Sparrows, blue jays, great blue herons, ring-billed gulls, etc. And what appeared to be the Lake Crabtree bald eagle, off in the distance--a huge dark bird with flat wings and a white tail. (It's surprising how difficult it is to see a white head on a dark bird when the sky is pale grey.)

Then I came back home, looked out the window, and the brown creeper was on the tree. So that was cool too.

Mystery Bird Call

Heard a bird call at the lake, a really distinctive one. It sounded like a rather breathy flute or recorder note--not modulated, just one mid-range note--not a hoot, but a very pure tone, but with a breathiness at least at the beginning. It would call once, but it called fairly frequently for awhile. At one point, it sounded as if two of these birds were exchanging this back and forth, but I couldn't see either of them. While I am really crappy with birdcalls, I suspect that this one is distinctive enough that I could recognize it again.

It's not a thrush, a cardinal, a mockingbird, a blue jay, a robin, or a mourning dove, and I don't even know what to try after that.

Any thoughts?

Edit: Having gone through a lot of "Whatbird"'s sound archives, I've ruled out a lot of stuff, but come no closer to my goal. It sounded most like a long-eared owl, if slightly higher pitched, but it seems unlikely that owls would call and answer each other during the morning. If you crossed a long-eared owl with a mourning dove (an experiment unlikely to occur in nature) that'd be right about it.

Oh, well, another Mystery Bird for the file...

(no subject)

Every year, as part of her stocking stuffer crusade (despite our lack of stockings) my mother gets me scented bath doohickeys--lavender, green tea, white ginger, body scrubs or washes or lotions or whatever. And this is fine, because I would not buy myself such arcane potions--I am a utilitarian showerer, I believe that you get in, soap, shampoo, rinse, and get out, and more than five minutes is decadence--and it's kinda fun now and again.*

This year she got me some maple sugar body wash, which I thought was odd at the time, but now I found myself standing under hot water with a bottle of it in hand. Maple sugar. Huh. "Interesting," I said, to the shower, which did not have anything to say in reply.

But there I was, and there it was, and I absorbed a lot of Star Trek in my youth, including the boldly going where no man, etc, so what the hell. I popped the cap, found my loofah, and lathered up.

Powerful stuff, that maple.

Now I smell like a waffle. A big...'ol...clean...waffle.

*Furthermore, there is a moratorium on buying what James (himself a long-haired peacenik) calls "goddamn hippie soap," because he claims it smells too much like food and if it's early and he's groggy and I am cruel enough to stock that one gingerbread-scented kind, disaster will inevitably follow. So I am forced to get it as gifts.