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4BY3: Quarterly Report October 16, 2015

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

If there’s no travel, the third quarter of the year is not likely to produce much of a count. At least not for me. The slowdown that began in June got even slower. I added four species in July and August (and none in September). But all four of those species made me happy.

On an early-July mountain hike, Tim and I got both the black-throated green and the black-throated blue warbler. We even found a black-throated blue baby, which we could not have ID’d if its dad hadn’t flown over to feed it.

Near the end of the month, we followed up on a radio report that there were whip-poor-wills at a particular preserve within an hour’s drive from us. I had no idea that there were whip-poor-wills this far north; I stopped hearing them in Pennsylvania years ago. I’m sure I hadn’t heard one in more than a decade, if not two. But we hunted them down in two locations (the second much closer to us) and heard them both places. Totally thrilling.

And in August, the red-breasted nuthatch, who had been alluding me, at last hung out at my feeder long enough for me to set eyes on him.

Year-to-date count at this quarter: 124. (2012: 110. 2013: 173 [which turned out to be that year’s total]. 2014: 116.)

Fish or Not?: Part 5: The Verdict October 15, 2015

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

Here it is the middle of October and I still haven’t reported whether I made my goal of ten no-drinking days in both August and September. August, of course, you know about, even the details. I could give you a similar rundown for September, which began with my drinking expensive champagne at a 6-year-old’s afternoon birthday party. (Don’t you think I would have been safe from temptation at such an event? Not in Parts West.) The next night, though, I sat alone at a bar, listening to a singer who’d been on The Voice, and didn’t order a single drink. Sipping my club-soda-with-lime, I watched the bartender prepare concoction after concoction and found myself getting snobby and judgmental: A screwdriver? Really? Who drinks those after high school?

I got back to Portland ever so briefly, and then I went to my high school reunion. There seemed to be parties and events galore last month. But I made it. Ten booze-free days in September.

Some of those days I really, really wanted a drink. Some of those days I didn’t really notice the absence. Some of the days that I have to count as drink days I only had half a beer (truly). Some of the days I that I drank, I found myself thinking, Did I really want that drink?

So maybe it’s made me a little more aware.

Experiment over. I’m going to Europe.