The thirtieth of September is the last day of the month. The end. It is also the end of my work as a volunteer interpreter at McNary National Wildlife Refuge Education Center. I do not want to do that stuff any more. Am I tired of it? No. But it is tiring. Physically. Will I miss going out to the Refuge. Yes. I probably will not stop going to the Refuge. It is a great natural place in which to walk, touch, look and just plain appreciate nature. Many species of birds nest and raise young. Other species stop to feed and rest when they migrate to warmer climates. The red-shafted flicker is here the year around. From my yard on the edge of town I count as many as ten species that rest on the electric wires or on the tops of cottonwood and pine trees. But it matters not, last day of the month, last hour of the day, birds call.
Archive for September, 2010
It took several hours at Walmart photo department to transfer my Nepal photos onto three discs so I can use them from my computer. Although my Toshiba cannot read the stuff. I must go back and see if there is another way to scan them or at least put them in a way they will be useful. Each disc is a part of the Nepal trip one the scenery of the country, one of the hike from Lukla to Namche, and one of the Sherpa people and their homes. Probably the technology was Apple and Microsoft is not compatible. Oh the wonders of self perpetuation. Walmart is the only photo shop where scanning is available and never once did I think the effort would be futile. I just might borrow the black magic box that turned film digital. My brilliant offspring will help me bridge the technology gap, Im sure. I have no immediate plans to use the images for a presentation so I have time to find a solution. Another nitch to fill in my use of the latest things!
Sacajawea Days is what the last weekend in September is labeled. Days to remember when the Corps Of Discovery came down the Snake River in seven canoes dug out of enormous cottonwood trees and stopped on the banks of the Columbia, which Meriwether Lewis expected would carry them to the wide blue waters, yet to be named Pacific. Those who had decided on the McNary NWR education program displayed samples of plants that were found at the confluence of the rivers in 1803, none of which could be seen today on the green lawn. Women dressed in sunbonnets and layers of petticoats and skirts demonstrated iron kettle cookery over campfires as it was done by pioneers. Men in buckskin showed animal pelts and tools used by the first white men who ventured into the unmapped northwest territory. Sacajawea was a fifteen-year old child won in a poker game by a French interpreter hired by Clark to guide the Corps. The Frenchman had another woman he preferred but Clark insisted on the young Indian who could speak several dialects. She carried a baby in a cradle board and was delighted to find her brother had become chief of her tribe when they reached Idaho. She went on with the Corps to the ocean as excited about seeing the big wide waters as any explorer.
Either way it is a case of solitaire. I could set in the shop and listen to the rain drop on the roof but the temperature is less than 60 and not a soothing rain. Good thing I took a long look at the full moon last night. The clouds will keep it covered tonight. I tried fitting the cover on the A/C but it is too wet out for that. The wildlife is hunkered in and comfy so thats what Ill do. I am faithfully wearing my ears and I hear all manner of things. Even my card game talks to me. The cards deal with a flutter. Slick! it says when I move a card, plonk! when I make an improper move. What a companion! Havent any treat to eat except a chocolaty cake and Ive had enough for today. So I will turn on favorite country music and play away.
Tonights slide show about Australia was along a different route than I took when I was there. Australia is as big as the USA. The Audubon group flew into Adelaide and went along the southern shoreline to Perth. A different part of the continent from my route although they did make a side trip to Alice Springs and Ulrulu. The pictures Kathy Criddle showed were of coves and beaches. She was fascinated by the unusual flowers, both colors and shapes but she didnt have names for them. I had expected, since she was with a birding group, many bird photos but there were only two which she couldnt name. She had an interesting travelogue and spoke well. I guess the far away trips planned by the Clarks for Audubon are simply trips and those who travel take pot luck. My trips with Elderhostel, Mark Smith, or on my own were more focused. Keep that in mind for future reference.
The dirt and leaves piled up on the lean-to roof against the shop have bothered me for some time. Today after filling the yard waste bin I decided to tackle them. It was more labor intensive than I felt like but once began I followed through. The dirt and leaves had dried and stuck to the roofing and required a hoe to loosen the clumps. And that had to be done from a ladder on the side with a long reach. Whew! Some stretch. Muscles I dont use much. I was too chicken to get up on the roof on a board as I used to do to finish the job. I just am not as limber as I once was. After loosening and shoving I finally got the clumps swept to the ground. Then I turned the hose on the dirt and washed it off. Messy! Hauling the ladder around was as much work. I forgot how cumbersome and awkward that 8-footer was to move under the wire and around from one side of the building to the other. Never mind. The roof is clean. I found the A/C cover I fitted last year is ready to attach but without the duct tape, hammer and nails handy I left it for another day.
No doubt I cannot accumulate large acreage or herds of cattle and pigs or can bust any body’s butt by myself BUT I can certainly spend hours playing games. All alone it is called solitaire. The computer shuffles and lays out new cards with a quick flutter. I love it. The play becomes work when it stresses my backside. For relief I must get up and walk around, sometimes even out side. If I hope to grow old I must take care of my body as well as my mind such as it is so up and around. Enough games for the time being. I will find the bookmark in the book I laid aside this morning and rest in my lazy recliner with a few chapters. Reading, too, becomes a game. How many books can I read? Like the rhyme goes: How much wood can a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? I can read an whopping number of books, believe me.
I did get the walnuts picked up. While I rested I watched my black cat harass my squirrels or were my squirrels teasing my black cat? The squirrels acted the most anxious of those animals but maybe they are just more expressive than a regal feline. Their tails twitch all the time. The cat appeared most unconcerned. That was hours ago. Still hours until dark and I am full of celebration the most chocolaty chocolate cake I could have wished for. Yummy. I must do something to use up the sugar I accumulated around my navel. Never thought to get ice cream to go along but there is much cake left for another day and can have ice cream in its future. I got started too late for the potstickers I planned for dinner. Forgot that Wo Teriyaki closes at 3 pm. I feel the stress of the nut pickup in my lower back. A good nights sleep ought to cure that. I salute the first day of a new year.
I mapped out an 83-year celebration before I went to bed last night but the plan is not working so far. I had coffee and decided to exercise by picking up the walnuts scattered on the front walk before they get squashed and broken that only a broom can handle. Now I am pooped. I was supposed to shower and treat myself to breakfast fruities at IHOP but here I sit. Too tired to turn on a faucet and get cleaned up. Anyway I have no particular other place to go so I will find my Quaker and fix my heart some tender loving care. My feet are swollen and dirty, my ring fingers ache, but the sun is brightly shining and my plants are well watered so I will eat and relax. The clock shows ten am and I could pull myself up by my bootstraps and change my plan.
The expensive ears I bought will not help if left in their pretty little case. I have been going about my day not thinking about them until I was ten miles down the road for an appointment with no time to go back for them. Yesterday I was determined to remember to wear them so I put the box on my fresh underwear so that I would have to move them this morning before I could get dressed. And I did. I dried my hair carefully so I wouldnt drip and destroy them. I was warned not to wear them in the shower but I shower every day so I just cant put them on the first thing when I get up which would be the best idea. My point is that I did put them on and wore them all day. Still have them in while I blog. When I finish I will take them off, wipe them with disinfectant as directed, disconnect the batteries and put them away for the night. I would wear them to bed except they squeal when covered. Laying on them just wouldnt work. But during the day I like to hear the rain on the roof. I like listening to the squirrels chatter. I appreciate hearing people in group conversations. Sometimes I would like to shut out the foolish exchanges of the people I associate with. At home I would prefer not to hear every car swishing down the street. Nor hear the doors slam and my neighbors talking to each other as they walk to the house. Or worse yet hear their one sided cell phone conversations. Maybe in time I will be able to shut out the stuff I do not want to hear but for now I hear it all. And it will take time to get used to.