Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Cold, Snowy Day in So Cal

Today was a quiet birding day. I woke up early as usual, blasted through the Sunday L.A. Times, worked on my PowerPoint presentations for my classes next week—then realized that I felt like crap: I was obviously coming down with the flu.

But this didn't stop me from birding. Glenn had slept in, and after a late-morning trip to Starbucks for lattes , we headed to Crystal Cove for some healthy ocean air and photo opportunities.

Walking around on the beach (wearing layers of sweats and a pair of gloves that Glenn had wisely stored in the car) made me feel a lot better. On the beach were not only the usual Black and Ruddy Turnstones and Sanderlings, but also about four Snowy Plovers. This surprised me: from my modest training for the Least Tern/Snowy Plover breeding project at Huntington State Beach last summer, I thought the Snowys departed for Mexico at the end of summer. But according to Hamilton and Willick''s guide to Orange County birds, they're here in small numbers year-round.

In either case, I'm glad I saw them, and even more glad that I got out of the house to see them. On the way home, we picked up a big pizza and ate it in front of the TV while drinking beer and watching "Ratatouille" on DVD. (Yes, I fully realize the potential irony of this—but it was a good pizza from a local, family-owned joint, and not some random Domino's thing.)

And I realized something else, apart from the interesting fact that Snowy Plovers appear year-round in these parts: No matter what ailment I have, a big dose of carbs, fat and booze always make it better. I don't think it works this way for most people.

I'm a very lucky girl.

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