Monday, June 9, 2008

the world is just awesome

So it's been two and a half weeks since my last update, during which time I have not done a lot of birding. I'm really just writing to let you know I am still committed to this blog; I've just been unbelievably busy and without internet access for many days. We moved into our new apartment, unpacked everything and decorated and cleaned up. Now it looks and feels like home, with no evidence that we haven't always been here except that it's cleaner than our last place. Maybe it's just easier to keep a bigger space uncluttered, or maybe I've been more on top of things, but it looks really good.

I have been getting out with my binoculars, but not when I'm alone and able to walk as slowly as I want. I haven't been taking notes. But I've seen several bright Baltimore orioles in my recent travels (Sunday to Staten Island, for example, to Conference House Park and the beach at Great Kills) and then the usual handful of everyday birds. I was so proud of Chrissy yesterday when he said, "What kind of nest is that?" and I hadn't even seen it! It was a hanging ball nest, and it reminded me of the one Karen from the Prospect Park Audubon Center pointed out to me in the winter, so I think it was a Baltimore oriole nest. I also spent some time in the Ramble in Central Park on Saturday, where I found a great place to sit by a stream and watch birds bathe. In addition to common grackles and starlings, I got to watch a Baltimore oriole splash under the watchful gaze of a female American redstart.

It has been hot and gross outside, but we realized yesterday that the only weather that deters us from having outdoor adventures is rain. We'll go out in the coldest of cold, in the snow, in the heat, in the dripping humidity, and have a great time exploring and getting exercise. Yesterday's extreme heat, with hot wind blowing in off the sea, reminded me of a time this past winter when we were at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on the West Pond side when all of a sudden Manhattan disappeared. A squall of snow enveloped the skyline, and we could see a big mass of white moving toward us across the open water, closing the distance quickly. It's always interesting to me to think about where the line between snowing and not snowing is, or driving into a rainstorm and then out the other side. We weren't stranded in the snow or anything; it was just amazing to watch a small snow system be "over there" and then be snowing on us. And yesterday, even though we were outside almost all day in the unrelenting heat, sun, and sweat, was really fun. We do love our extremes.

Today's subject heading is a reference to the new Discovery Channel slogan. Have you seen that commercial? It may have taken top spot in my heart for best commercial of all time. Every time I watch it, I get tears in my eyes, because they're right: the world is just awesome. And I will put it below for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

1 comment:

AKA Bird Nerd said...

Hi Leah,
Congrats on the new apartment.
We have been having record cold temps here in the Pacific Northwest. It has been in the upper 50's down on the Sound for the last few days. Can you believe it has been snowing in the mountain passes? The truckers got caught off guard. Snow in June? We're having a little trouble grasping this whole global warming thing! :-) My son-in-law said it was nearly 90 in Bangor, Maine the other day. When is it our turn?

Last evening my neighbor's ski dock began to break up in a nasty squall. She is a widow and in her 70's. Because of barnacles the two pontoons that washed up were too heavy for her. My other 70's neighbor and I (soon to be 60) went out to help. We had to scrape the barnacles off before we could lift the pieces up to the bulkhead out of harms way. All of this while being pelted with wind and wind waves. It must have looked rather comical - 2 old ladies and me wrestling with those bulking foam pontoons. I'm a bit sore this morning, but feel good about being able to help a neighbor in crisis.

The world is awesome - both in its beauty and nature's power!