Saturday, December 20, 2008

White Winged Doves

I gave up trying to get my bird feeder fixed and instead just leaned it up against the deck. What do I have to do to get some help around here?? In any case, as soon as I put the bird food out, the birds arrived in, well, flocks. There were cardinals, tufted titnice, carolina chickadees, some sparrows but I don't know what kind, dark-eyed juncos, and these lovely white-winged doves. Oh, and one red-bellied woodpecker, too.

Tomorrow I'm going to participate in Birds of the Solstice. And I just now realized that the 24-hour period has already started. But I'll likely do my bird watching after church. Or maybe before church, since there's no Sunday School tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Bit of Birding

When my two older kids were in college, they took science classes that were taught by ornithologists. Andrew got quite interested in birds when he spent a semester abroad in Costa Rica and I enjoyed hearing all about the different kinds of birds he was seeing. Then Rachel had to do a bird observation project for her science class and she talked me into helping her (she doesn't have the world's best eyesight for birding). I do remember her insisting the the male and female Mallard ducks had to be different species--I mean, just look at them!

So I kind of got into birdwatching a little because of them. I'm strictly an amateur, but I do think it is kind of cool to find a new bird and do the work to figure out what it is. (I know I've blogged about birds in the past: here and here and here and here. Actually, I have lots of more bird posts and that reminds me, I should go back and take those birds and add them to my life list at Birdstack.)

Speaking of Birdstack, they are having a bird-watching party this coming Sunday. Which is also the winter solstice. I'm going to join them. (I think it is kind of strange to talk about birding and parties in the same breath!) It is easy, and you don't have to be a professional! Here is the scoop--why don't you join us?

Birds of the Solstice

The Good Life

This morning I was again reminded that the quality of life is automatically higher for those of us who do not have to commute to work.

Gary kindly joined me as we left at 6:05am to take Rachel to a location north of the metroplex. Traffic was bad coming home and worse going there. At least the temperature was above freezing unlike yesterday morning when the city was covered in a thin layer of ice. Someone said there were over 100 accidents yesterday in the area.

In other news, we enjoyed the GIAL Christmas dinner last evening. We could walk to that, too.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas At Work

Today we hosted the annual department Christmas tea. As usual, it was held in the 2nd floor hallway, which isn't an ideal venue, but we make it work.

We are grateful to work with a bunch of great people who accomplish a lot with sometimes fewer than ideal resources and almost always cheerfully.

We even have some wise men around.

This year Joan found the mother of all poinsettias for the table--so big we almost lost Kathy back there.

I've noticed that my stats counter for this blog has suddenly increased--I think it is because this coworker mentioned that he was blog-buddies with me in a public attended by some of my coworkers. Now, I bet they are seeing themselves in these photos!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I Should Never Have Doubted Her

Tonight was the church's annual "Family Christmas" service. Rachel picked the hardest Christmas song in existence to perform as a solo. Sam moved it down several keys to better fit Rachel's range, added a lovely viola part, and Rachel sounded just great!

Those of you who attended David and Sarah's wedding might also recognize her dress. Nice to wear it at least twice!