Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I know I haven’t blogged in a while. For a couple of reasons.  I’ve been really really exhausted and have been trying to be in bed by 11pm. Leaving no real time to write. Or write anything more than a grocery list.
The other reason I haven’t blogged is that I’ve now had to negotiate the computer away from Husband Joe in the evenings. His new favorite web page is Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas, Species Audios. Yes. It’s a website that has all the birds in Wisconsin and Minnesota and you can click on their names and learn the birdcalls. (Oh? That info is fascinating and changed your life? I know. Mine too.)
Now I’m not saying blogging stories is more important than the essential skill of identifying the Eastern Meadowlark that Joe heard at work today. Or more important than memorizing the call of the Sand Hill Crane so it can be recognized immediately. In fact both our toddlers can now recognize and name more birds than I can. We stepped outside the other day and Guy pointed out a Cardinal. Joey correctly identified a Morning Dove by its call. (Whistle? Sound? Noise? --Call.) I’m just explaining why I have not been online as promptly as before.
Husband Joe asked me to take my phone call into the other room a few minutes ago because he was trying to memorize some bird calls. And apparently the noise of my chit chat was interrupting the Warbling Vireo. Or something. Here’s a not so secret secret (I don’t really care about the birds). But which is actually more important- getting to my gmail faster? Or being able to identify the Scarlet Tanager?... Probably neither.
 But this evening we went walking in the woods. Joey stopped riding his bike to look up in the trees and yelled back to us that he saw a bird! Joe stooped down next to him to see it from his son’s eye level. Trying to listen, Guy was squinting. Apparently squinting helps him listen. Joey had his mouth open. Apparently that helps him listen. Ellie made her eyes super big. That helps her listen. All five of us became very very quiet. For at least fifteen seconds.
And I identified the sound of expectant silence- as three year old Joey waited for knowledge to be dropped like a ball into his outstretched hands. His dad leaned over and identified the bird. Joey caught and memorized “Pileated Woodpecker”. And as he rolled the name around making the connection for maybe the first time, I decided that listening to bird calls was not so useless.
I myself, tried to memorize the fabulous fifteen seconds of silence.  And we continued on our way.

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