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Old-Fashioned Names August 27, 2013

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
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We stayed with Fred and Bonnie; we stayed with Louise. Wednesday, we biked to the ferry, then took it to Peaks to visit Alfred. We met Alfred’s sister, Marjorie, at the gallery full of their art. The last day, we caught up with George. He took us to his photo studio on the fourth floor of an old textile mill. Its riverless view lets in the most perfect light.

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South August 14, 2013

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At 10:15 this morning, a car drove by and honked. I heard it from my office, way in the back of the house. It was my summer friend, Sioux, heading south, heading home. One of my first signs of autumn.

Just the other day, I saw some geese doing the same thing: ganging up, honking and flying, pointing south.

Sioux used to stay through Labor Day, but then her school moved its start date up by a couple of weeks, and the end date keeps pushing back with all winter’s snow days, and I swear what used to be 10-week summers have turned into 6-week summers. It messes with my aging, times-flying-by-too-fast-anyway head.

Her husband and daughter, who were going to leave tomorrow, stopped by today to drop something off for me and to tell me they were leaving tonight instead. No use hanging around one more night in anticipation of a day in the car.

August, that Adonis, is getting his first jabs in before I fall.

Flight! August 14, 2013

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Last night, over pizza, Emily’s mom posed the flight-vs.-invisibility superpower choice, and Emily, without hesitation, chose flight. When pressed for reasons, she said that if she could fly, she could charge her friends for rides. (I have known Emily most of her 8.5-year life, and for about half of it, she’s been trying to use her powers to attract money.)

But what impressed me most was how the plan unfolded. The first two rides, Emily said, would be free. Then people would be addicted. And then she would charge $1/flight, and after about a dozen of those, the price would go up to $2.

These flights would occur during recess.

She noted that she wanted to give her two best friends free flights, but for the sake of appearances, they would have to hand her $1, which she would later, in secret, hand back to them.

She talked about maybe eventually giving her best friends power of flight too, especially when things got busy (supply and demand). But when we began to talk about the resulting risk of competition, she thought maybe she’d give the power to Sally, her dog, instead.

Emily has always been really, really smart. She’s already got a lot of power, but clearly, it could go super any minute now.

A Series of Things: Komodo Dragon August 13, 2013

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komodo3

Years ago, we met on a sidewalk in Portland. She was with many of her own kind. She fit in the back of my Subaru.

On the way home, we got caught in a blizzard. I had to stop at a friend’s in New Hampshire. She survived the night.

She lives in Martini Lounge, guarding hula hoops and a baby. I did not know she was a she until the baby showed up. To be honest, I’m only assuming she’s a she and that the baby is hers. (Komodos are, after all, egg layers.)

She wears a piece of twine on her front left wrist. She refuses to explain this.

Not everyone likes her. This puzzles me.

I don’t know if she likes the lava lamp or not, but so far, it’s remained on its mantel perch.

2BY10: June and July August 2, 2013

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Truth is, it’s been slow. In two months, I’ve added only seven species. Happily, four of those species were on the last report’s why-haven’t-I-seen-this-yet list. I finally got the scarlet tanager while learning pétanque; its sighting interrupted my turn, which I imagine my nonbirding partner wasn’t thrilled about. Still, I haven’t heard one distinctive call note from this species all summer, despite hearing its song.

Here’s my paltry-but-pretty list: red-eyed vireo, northern waterthrush, red-breasted nuthatch, scarlet tanager, black-throated green warbler, broad-winged hawk, and great egret, which brings my total to 165 (61 species ahead of last year at this time). I can see, however, that after July 2012, I didn’t add another species until mid-September, and that was in Colorado, where the birding was overall disappointing.