Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Diary of Two Old Dogs Trying to Stay on the Road

"You have to stay in shape. My grandmother, she started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 today and we don't know where the hell she is."
    -- Ellen Degeneres

First, a few updates for The Diary of a Seventy-Something Who Hates Naps:

Net weight loss for 2013: 2 pounds (was 4.4 but then came the Super Bowl bash)

Waist size: classified information, but it is 2 inches smaller than it was at its grossest.

Short-term goals: Lose 10 pounds and 2 more inches in waist circumference.

Long-term goals: Lose more.

Weather: a break in the rain midday, but much more coming tonight and tomorrow. Good! Rain is a wonderful thing -- It makes the Spring pretties grow, and it adds variety and a challenge to daily walking.

Continuing to use our walks this week as practice for the four-day Great Backyard Bird Count starting Friday, I opted not to carry my binoculars around my neck, given that we did a neighborhood route today. If someone saw an old man surveying the 'hood with his high-powered binoculars, it would be easy to conclude that he was doing the wrong kind of bird-watching.

We will use the lenses for magnifying the backyard feeder action, as well as peering out into the woods beyond. And we will take it along when we venture onto wooded trails.

For some unknown reason, few birds presented themselves on our neighborhood walk today. We spotted the same (I presume) Northern Mockingbird we had seen yesterday on a neighbor's roof. At one point, Mr. MB was perched on the turf surveying all of bird land. Given that Mockingbirds are territorial, cats would be well advised not to prowl around the shubbery surrounding this house.

At one point, we heard chattering sounds coming from a pine tree. Hmmm, what sort of exotic bird might this be? I wondered. It turned out to be two squirrels fussing at us. Superdawg duly noted them for her Great Squirrel and Cat Count.

There has been much activity on the feeder today. The Carolina Chickadee, a very energetic little guy, has been noteworthy in numbers and seed intake. And a Northern Flicker, sporting that pretty red nape crescent, has been hopping, robinlike, under the feeder to devour the seeds that the Chickadees and other birds have scattered.

Now it is time to study the National Audubon Society's "The Sibley Guide to Birds" (by David Allen Sibley) and rest up for the old dogs' next bird walk.

© Robert G. Holland  2013

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