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Cool Gray Khaki September 14, 2019

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
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That is the name of the color of the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek I ordered. The thing is, I’d never seen one in person, at least not one sitting still. They didn’t have that color on the lot. In fact, they didn’t have an unpurchased 2019 on the lot, so I couldn’t even test drive one.

In some photos online, I liked the color. In others, I wasn’t so sure. You know how that goes.

I did the paperwork and put down a deposit that gave me right of first refusal, as it’s apparently a difficult color to get. If I didn’t like it, I’d get a dark gray.

I rented a car for a week, went to Maryland, visited my mother (out of the hospital, back in rehab), went to Mary Helen’s funeral, went to church. Made some connections and reconnections.

Dropped off the rental and headed to the dealer on a day when I was having strange dizzy spells. I hope that doesn’t turn into a real story in my future.

I think I like the color. I thought I did enough to buy it. But Tim had to drive it home. Those dizzy spells scared me.

Cool gray I get. Khaki I don’t get. In the bright light, it’s bluer, but I think it’s a blue I can live with.

Now I have to learn how everything works. It’s like a computer in there.

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Brown September 13, 2019

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That was the color of my beloved 2008 Subaru Outback. With a new clutch and brakes, it could have easily lasted a few more years (despite the not-nice things its own dealer said about it at trade-in!). I worry I let that car go too early. I didn’t even get a proper goodbye. I was attending to an appointment when it was towed, and I never saw it again. This makes me teary. Eleven and a half years.

 

*And some of you were here when I bought that car.

Black September 2, 2019

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Things I am mourning:

My days of manual transmission. It’s a long story, but when my 11-year-old, 128K-miles Subaru Outback needed a new clutch, I opted to try get a new car so as to avoid the possibility of two car payments (Tim’s car has many more miles). And I’ve let myself be talked into my first automatic transmission ever (admittedly, Tim’s car is automatic). This is a tough decision for me. But there are practical factors to consider. Sadly, I had to get my clutchless Subaru towed last week. I didn’t even get a proper goodbye. And I don’t know when my new car will arrive. This in-between time has its own complications, on top of my sadness.

My mother’s health. She’s back in the hospital. I got word of that ten minutes after my car broke down. It wasn’t a good day. She appears to be stable, but school has started, so my sister can’t head south with me unless things are dire. I can’t wander down there at the moment because I don’t have a car. There may be a rental in my near future, but I’m trying to hold off on that until it becomes truly necessary.

Mary Helen. My best friend’s mother is actively dying, in our hometown. I imagine that the timing of my trip south, barring a rapid downturn on my mother’s end, will be to see Mom when I go to attend MH’s funeral. (MH died this hour, before I had a chance to post this.)

A Smattering of 153s August 30, 2019

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On June 28, a friend posted this caption (because of the name, obviously) from the Facebook page of Historical Society of Carroll County:

Approximately 153 years ago, in the June of 1866, J. H. Christ, who was then the president of the Board of School Commissioners of Carroll County determined that 92 schools in the county were “unfit” for operation. The commission would later enact a redistricting plan to ensure that no students needed to travel more than 4 miles to their designated school. This image is of the Carroll Academy whose building—though closed—still stands on Littlestown Pike today.

And here’s a farmstand receipt from early August. The tomato cost $1.53.

And here’s my Santana ticket, which cost almost $153 (actually, quite a bit more with fees and tax).

 

8BY2: Quarterly Report July 3, 2019

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I asked Marty if there were still whip-poor-wills around that part of Pennsylvania, and he said yes, and that we could probably hear one when we were at Chuck’s house the next night. The next night, as soon as the sun went down, one landed on the roof, planted itself there for awhile, and sang.

This quarter: ring-billed gull, green-winged teal, blue-winged teal, great egret, snowy egret, yellow-bellied sapsucker, ruby-crowned kinglet, field sparrow, fox sparrow, brown-headed cowbird, purple finch, chipping sparrow, eastern towhee, red-breasted nuthatch, ruffed grouse, palm warbler, American woodcock, double-crested cormorant, sharp-shinned hawk, glossy ibis, greater yellowlegs, yellow-rumped warbler, pine siskin, barn swallow, tree swallow, eastern meadowlark, yellow warbler, Baltimore oriole, ruby-throated hummingbird, rose-breasted grosbeak, blue-headed vireo, black-and-white warbler, gray catbird, magnolia warbler, black-throated green warbler, ovenbird, hermit thrush, northern waterthrush, chimney swift, house wren, warbling vireo, blue-winged warbler, chestnut-sided warbler, bobolink, broad-winged hawk, northern parula, black-throated blue warbler, Blackburnian warbler, common yellowthroat, white-crowned sparrow, brown thrasher, eastern kingbird, eastern wood pewee, great-crested flycatcher, scarlet tanager, cliff swallow, red-eyed vireo, American redstart, least flycatcher, blackpoll warbler, spotted sandpiper, wood thrush, white-eyed vireo, eastern whip-poor-will.

Year-to-date count: 126. (2012: 102. 2013: 162. 2014: 102. 2015: 120. 2016: 104. 2017: 115. 2018: 130.)

“In Hiding” June 28, 2019

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Bridgett’s link on her blog to mine now reads “In Hiding – Route 153,” and she’s right. I’ve been very much in hiding. Overwhelmed. Mute.

So here I am waving to you.

The RBGBs came back the day I wrote about them, and they are still here. There are at least five males and four females, constantly dropping by the feeder.

It’s been three weeks since I’ve added a species to my list. Quarterly post in a few days.

Some 153s June 28, 2019

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They are everywhere, of course, but here are the few I’ve bothered to note:

  • On March 6, I watched the HBO trailer for the last season of Game of Thrones, which clocked in at 1:53.
  • On March 27, I read in the New York Times “Rockland County, with a population of more than 300,000, has had 153 confirmed cases of measles since October. Of those, 48 have occurred in 2019.”
  • On April 11, when I added up the bits of time I had worked on the museum journal that day, it turned out to be 153 minutes.
  • In April, my buying club order totaled $153.42 (see receipt).

 

 

Welcome RBGBs! May 3, 2019

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It’s a wet, cold spring. I have been watching my feeder for rose-breasted grosbeaks, hoping they will show up on time.

This is year 8 for listing species. In the past seven years, three times my first sighting of an RBGB was on May 3. Today.

May 3 is also the latest they’ve shown up. There was an early-bird sighting one April 26. Two April 29 sightings. One May 1.

It’s been so dreary I wouldn’t blame them for taking their time, but one showed up at neighbor’s feeder last weekend, a mere 2 miles away.

A Baltimore oriole, a ruby-throated hummingbird—they showed up today in the cold rain.

A watched feeder never produces an RBGB.

Maybe I’ll put a welcome sign on the window.

8BY1: Quarterly Report April 3, 2019

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It’s been a long winter, and it doesn’t feel like I’ve listed a lot of birds yet, beyond the usual suspects, but apparently I’ve had my best first quarter since beginning my annual lists. Last year I added several when I went to Maryland, but this year, I added only one on my visit. My brief forays to Portland early in the year got me some water birds.

Here’s what I’ve got so far: downy woodpecker, house finch, white-breasted nuthatch, tufted titmouse, mourning dove, Carolina wren, American crow, mallard, rock pigeon, red-tailed hawk, turkey vulture, herring gull, great black-backed gull, European starling, red-breasted merganser, common eider, common loon, long-tailed duck, bufflehead, common goldeneye, black scoter, northern mockingbird, great black hawk (the rarity whom I got to see for the second time just 27 days before it died, and yes, its death was heartbreaking), harlequin duck, wild turkey, Canada goose, hairy woodpecker, great blue heron, northern flicker, blue jay, northern cardinal, black-capped chickadee, red-bellied woodpecker, American goldfinch, dark-eyed junco, house sparrow, white-throated sparrow, American robin, common raven, pine grosbeak (my first ever), cedar waxwing, bald eagle, rough-legged hawk, northern harrier, pileated woodpecker, barred owl, hooded merganser, common redpoll, eastern bluebird, snow bunting, red-winged blackbird, killdeer, belted kingfisher, wood duck, song sparrow, black duck, Wilson’s snipe, American kestrel, fish crow, black vulture, eastern phoebe, common grackle.

Year-to-date count: 62. (2012: 40. 2013: 53. 2014: 40. 2015: 43. 2016: 56. 2017: 50. 2018: 58.)

No Snowy March 30, 2019

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I’m worried that I won’t see a snowy owl this year—that 2019 is the year that my snowy luck runs out.

I’ve had this worry before. In 2017, I listed one just under the wire: Christmas Eve.

Before 2014, I’d never even seen a snowy owl in the wild, but then there was an irruption, and suddenly they were around and findable. I saw my first one ever in February 2014. I counted 2015’s in January. (The only list I keep is my first sighting of a species in a year; I’ve seen more snowy owls than I’ve listed, but only a few.)

It’s not that by 2016 I was expecting to see one, but when I at last found one in November, I had to admit that I was getting used to being able to find them.

When November 2017 passed without a sighting, I was pretty sure my luck had run out, but December 24 was our day. We saw another four weeks later, in 2018.

And here it is the end of March. I didn’t see any of the owls that came through at the end of last year, and I haven’t seen one to count yet this year, so now, if I get one, it will be at the end of the year, if it happens at all.

After a five-year listing run, this could be the year I don’t see a snowy owl.

In other news, the red-winged blackbirds are back.