The winds were biting fingers to numbness today and it finally feels like winter in the Carolinas. Just an hour northwest from us in the mountain counties, there is a heavy snow warning for tonight and tomorrow. Michael is there on the VA side, so I might not see him until Thursday instead of tomorrow night. Sadly, I’ll settle for watching snow on TV. Above is a photo I took yesterday of a perky bird that I guess might be a female house finch. Or a mockingbird. I'm so screwed up.
Around noon today I braved the wind and took a short walk on the trail at the college and caught another mystery bird on a tree top. (Click on my photos for a larger view.) My wild guess is an Eastern Phoebe as it had a brownish back. It’s not a good photo and few birds were around today due to super gusty winds. I’m counting on my friendly bird experts to challenge me.
It’s so darn hard to focus your camera and keep your balance while wearing a very long trench coat in 35 mph wind gusts. Even while wearing athletic shoes, I have no balance. I have never had good balance and it’s because my toes are weak and my feet are flat. Your toes keep you standing, you know. Those who can use their powerful toes to accomplish little tasks have always impressed me. Like my daughter, Gina, who can grab a pencil with her toes, and probably write with it. Her toes are so powerful that I was always amused by her ability to wrap her toes on the edge of a starting block and dive into the pool during a race. That must take a lot of strength in those tootsies! I’m sure most people have strong toes but I’m not one of them. Skating on rollers or blades? Forget it. Instead of walking down a driveway with scattered icy patches to retrieve the mail, I wear tall boots and trudge through two feet of snow to save myself. I fall backwards on ice - on my rump. What has made balancing worse for me is having ankle surgery a year and a half ago which left three toes on my left foot numb and completely powerless. I can wiggle most of my toes slightly, but for the most part, they are just lame, lifeless fillers for the front of my shoes. With the wind howling around me today and my trench coat serving as a sail on a boat, I was bobbling forward and backward like the last bowling pin standing - the ten pin spare shot - lost. Not fair! Add holding a camera to your face while peering straight up to a bird perched two stories high and this is what you get (above). Enough of toe-talk. Geeezzz.
End result. Northern Mockingbird, I think… There has been little time for me to study my guide but I’m trying to devote myself to my new Stokes.
Other noteworthy musings,
Yesterday, our new class of police cadets began their 17-week journey of training towards their appointment of rookie cops. Already, three have bailed out. It is excruciatingly difficult for these recruits, as the commandants and drill sergeants are ruthless with them in the intent to weed out the weak. I have seen grown men, young men, and women sob. Those who prevail, in the end, are outstanding individuals. I’m looking forward to seeing them progress and lose the frightened look on their faces (and the pot bellies, too)!
Funny caption. Chloe on the right is thinking,
“Where’s Bella’s one-way ticket back to Stewartstown in Pennsylvania? Please…”