Friday, December 24, 2010

Lets Raise Our Glasses To These Faintly Falling Ashes

As the tire suggests, this Burrowing Owl is Good.

Welcome to a very special Christmas edition of Bourbon, Bastards and Birds. Hopefully you find yourself sitting in the new yacht you got for Christmas, sipping on a hot toddy made with Shackleton's whiskey, in the arms of your amazing lover. In fact, this is the preferred setting for reading BB&B at any time of year.

Unfortunately, Christmas will find me doing none of those things....I'll be mixing up some vegan gravy  and packing for my Mexico trip next month, but mostly trying to keep myself from pulling clumps of hair out...I am visiting my parents, you see. They will be informing me of very obvious things ("watch out for that knife, its sharp"), showing everyone how "anal retentiveness" is done, and otherwise generally underestimating my abilities to behave like a human being. I should suggest that we stop celebrating Christmas and convert to Festivus, because the traditional Airing Of Grievances might be a good thing. Yes, I am one of those people who dreads Christmas, thank you very much.

My 3-day Salton Sea trip I just took with my father has gotten mixed reviews. It was raining heavily for 2 days, making many roads impassable. I didn't get to bird at 100% of my potential, (like Number 6 birder Matt Brady recently did), as my father is not a birder at all, but I got some year birds (Burrowing Owl, Cattle Egret, Ross' Goose, Clapper Rail, LeConte's Sparrow(!!!)), and my first ever Curve-billed Thrasher in California. The whole Bean Goose thing went down in flames. I looked for that bird every day. And every day, somebody else saw it while I wasn't there. Under most conditions I would not even bother getting out of bed after that episode, but the sparrow and thrasher did their best to reinvigorate my spirit.

This is, you see, the time of year where people need a dose of Positivity the most. Christmas can bring out both The Best and The Worst in people. We have been so conditioned to think that life should be perfect this time of year that when it inevitably isn't, it makes people want to hang themselves from the tree. You know, kind of like how Valentine's Day feels when you are single or in an obviously doomed relationship. What might be a small problem in the back of your mind most of the year catapaults its way into the forefront of your consciousness and looms over you like Death. For a couple of weeks, you break down and fall back into Crisis Mode.

Raw Tilapia never gets old for Ospreys.

And then it's over. A new year starts, and you put all that shit behind you. You bird with renewed vigor, and make a number of resolutions that you are very passionate about...for a few weeks. Hopefully you continue on down your path of enlightenment and keep trying to learn, to better yourself.....and maybe even try to make the world around you a better place. Of course, most people won't do that, but I have great faith in the readers of BB&B.


Right. 'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even Felonious Jive.......

1 comment:

  1. 1. Delightful post. Thanks! 2. I have broken up with a boyfriend on or about St. Valentine's Day twice. Oh, yay. =) 3. Nice shots at two of my favorite raptor-licious creatures. 4. Reminds me of a question I asked of my fellow soggy biologist co-workers during a fieldwork lunch break last week: Has any human EVER won a staring contest with a burrowing owl? I think not.