I got up early this weekend hoping to see blackbirds at Ridgefield and wasn’t disappointed, both redwings and yellowheads were active near the edge of South Quigley Lake. My yellowhead pictures aren’t as good as previous years but it was still nice to see them singing and chasing each other around. I didn’t catch this male redwing singing but I love the colors of the early morning light.
Song and savannah sparrows were also out and about and singing their hearts out, those pictures are yet to come.
After ribbing Japan on Monday for not having visited my web site the past few weeks, wouldn’t you know it that when I checked my web stats the next morning, someone from Japan visited sometime that very day. So now all the countries I’ve been to in real life have visited at least once in the last few weeks.
It’s possible that the timing was coincidence, but I think my psychic powers have grown to the point that I can manipulate minds in Tokyo. I did not seem to have a similar effect on the druids, not too surprising given how they resisted the Jedi. Much to learn have I.
It’d be cool if Google could hook up their map of places that have visited to Google Earth so I could see what some of these places look like. Also if they could provide some fun facts about the location, like if you clicked on Ridgefield, Washington and it mentioned that it is the birthplace of U-Haul and the high school team is named the Spudders.
There are also some grade schools that link in, which is mostly good, but I had a pang of conscience at some of my picture descriptions. If you’re a teacher and a student says that bufflehead “primarily eat small creatures like snails, mussels, and Star Wars figurines”, look, I have no idea where they could have gotten such an idea. None.
Nevertheless, perhaps now is a good time to teach them that not everything they read on the Internet is true.
In looking at referalls, I see that my site referred itself a few times. This is clearly impossible and a sure sign that I have opened a portal into a parallel universe. Star Trek fans, you know the drill: don’t trust anyone in a goatee until I get this sorted out.
Some more quick thoughts on my web traffic since my last update:
- I was mistaken earlier when I said that I had been visited by 49 states with West Virginia the lone holdout. It turns out West Virginia hadn’t visited, that part was true, but neither had Delaware or Rhode Island. West Virginia did visit this week, followed by Delaware, and then finally Rhode Island, so all 50 states have now stopped by. Drinks are on me!
- I am unpopular with the druids. Exactly zero visits from the towns around Stonehenge. Zero! This may hurt my chances at becoming Archdruid.
- I am also unpopular in Japan (Finland and China have since clocked in, so Japan is the lone holdout of countries I’ve visited). Perhaps the druids have taken over Japan. I need to look into this.
- Each country has a two letter identifier at the end of their Internet address, except for the US, which is only fair since Al Gore did invent the Internet. Much like two letter identifiers for the states of the US, however, some of them are not for the countries I expected. For example, did you know that Switzerland is ch, so China is not ch but cn, and Canada is not cn but eh?
- Canada has visited but at a much lower rate than I expected compared to the US. I had planned to run a targeted campaign by blogging about hockey sticks and Pocky sticks (attracting both Canadians and the druid-Japanese), but I no longer believe it will be enough to attract my friends to the north. What we need is an invasion. Fifty-Four Forty or Fight! Who’s with me? Hello? Anyone? Hello?
The new cats got their first real taste of the outdoors on Sunday afternoon. I’ve taken Scout out with me a handful of times so far this year while Sam and Emma watched like tortured souls from indoors. Scout’s an old hat at outdoor time and I don’t have to worry about her trying to escape, so I can actually get yard work done while she’s out there.
Sunday I took a break from yard work to start teaching Sam and Emma how to behave during their outdoor time. Emma came out first and did quite well until she broke Cardinal Rule No. 1 and snuck under the fence into the neighbor’s yard. I yelled at her and she realized she had done something wrong, so she came back under the fence and ran towards our back door. That was the end of her outdoor time for the day, hopefully having to jealously watch from inside will be a good reminder that she’s not to leave the backyard.
Sam came out next and was pure Sam, very spirited and running all over the yard. I clapped any time he got near the side of the yard with the thin gap under the fence and he’d jump back at the noise — one escapee a day is enough. Sam had several lessons today, the dogs in the yard behind us came out and started barking furiously. He understood that the fence protected him and passed that test with flying colors. To his credit, he didn’t sit in front of them and taunt them the way a certain gray cat would sometimes do.
He also saw Public Enemy No. 1, a gray squirrel, running about in the trees next to the fence. His little kitten brain didn’t mask his intentions so I knew he was going to try to climb the fence, so I kept him towards the interior of the yard as best I could. I decided that was enough excitement for one day and I carried him back inside. He went, if not willingly, at least peacefully.
Scout went and slept under the raspberries the way Templeton used to, I wonder how much she still misses him. I’ve been thinking about him a lot lately so perhaps I’m just projecting. Today’s picture of Emma is not from Outdoor School as I didn’t want to be distracted with a camera while watching my young charges.
Another picture from New Year’s Day as Emma tries to get comfortable in her new home, here resting on the dresser in our bedroom.