Sunday, December 21, 2008
The best things about being home? Family, food, and photos that don't suck because I didn't take them!
I thought finals week would never end. But miraculously, it did, and on Friday, I finally escaped from the Gator Nation to return to California for winter break and Christmas with my family.
And now, I'm writing this from my parents' place in the Hollywood Hills, as I'm sitting in front of a Christmas tree almost as wide as it is tall,sipping a cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc, and looking at the lights of Hollywood and the Miracle Mile sparkling a few miles away down the hill. I filed the final grades for my classes online this morning, and now fall semester is officially done. Life is good.
Almost as wonderful as finally seeing my family, and especially my husband Glenn, again, is the pleasure of hearing my homie birds. I almost forgot what it's like to hear dozens of House Finches going off at the same time, for no particular reason. And it was great hearing the perky "bouncing ball" chorus of Wrentits, even if they were impossible to see.
I just had to see all my old birds again. So Glenn and I spent Saturday morning at San Joaquin. I didn['t really care what we saw; even a morning I would have found eye-rollingly dull six months ago would have suited me fine.
And this was just as well: Even though some rarities had been spotted there recently (Hooded Mergansers, a Summer Tanager, and a Harris' Sparrow), we didn't see anything unusual. But I was happy just to see the usual suspects again: Bushtits, wintering Northern Shovelers and Ruddy Ducks, and huge flocks of Cedar Waxwings, feasting on berries. (I passed a number of bushes stripped bare by the hungry little guys).
Everywhere I've looked, I've seen and heard dive-bombing Anna's Hummingbirds, and twittering Dark-eyed Juncos and Bushtits. Nothing out of the ordinary, but good to see, like seeing family and old friends again.