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Swallows

May 13, 2010

When I set the alarm clock for 5 a.m. last Saturday, and actually woke up at 4:55 a.m., my husband asked me if I was crazy. I’m pretty sure he meant it. I left the question unanswered, got dressed, took my morning calcium & vitamin D combo, had a quick breakfast, and was on my way by 5:25. I packed all-season-wear in my backpack and wore all of it: scarf, mitts, wool hat, Tilley hat, T-shirt, long-sleeve shirt. I’ll admit, I did feel a teeny bit crazed when I realized I woke up before the alarm clock.

It was so windy that I saw a flock of swallows fly backwards at Blenheim Lagoon! (Like many birding joints, I’m learning, this one is a sewage lagoon.) These same swallows (mainly tree swallows) then found a few branches by the lagoon and gripped them, holding on for dear life. I was nearly — literally and metaphorically — blown away by the sight.

Here they are, and the big fat bird in the middle is a Purple Martin, otherwise known as the largest of North American Swallows. The one we saw was stunning, so it was obviously a male. (sigh. not everything in the Bird World is fair.) Did you know that the purple martin gets all its food and water while in flight? I didn’t know that either, but the fabulous website at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology just enlightened me on that, and many other bird-related matters.

If you remember, my husband had also taken to calling me a Bird Nerd. Well, it definitely appears I’m not alone. There is a company based in Leavenworth, WA called — you guessed it — Bird Nerd Company! The company is founded by someone whose daughter nicknamed him a bird nerd. Have a look at their great stuff! You too could be the proud owner of a visor in an assortment of colors, or better yet, a canvas tote bag with a three color silkscreen print:

The back of the bag is even more stunning. It features the dictum “Bird is a Verb!” I just might invest in this handy dandy item soon!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Fireweed permalink
    May 13, 2010 10:16 pm

    Jeez – that husband of yours sure does call you a lot of names!

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