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Big Ol' Day

Friday, February 17, 2006

Howdy. I've been on the road all day. This will not be the poetic post you might be expecting. Because we're heading back to town for dinner, and then I have to put on roller skates and skate around with Phoebe and Liam at the funky rink in town.

Yesterday, I was in the middle of cleaning the greenhouse when Bill, who just happened to glance at my e-mail, told me that my NPR editor had requested a timely commentary. Those two words, used together, congeal my blood. They mean, "Write something now, to be recorded ASAP."
The Great Backyard Bird Count commences today. It's a joint effort of the National Audubon Society and Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It's a very cool concept: Get volunteers all across the U.S., Canada, and Hawaii to count birds in their own backyards. Combine the data (they're expecting 100,000 participants this year) and get a snapshot of late February bird populations across the continent. The Count is in its 9th year. Last year, 52K people sent in their records.
So, in between beheading geraniums and repotting, I wrote the commissioned commentary (actually, it was more like a press release) about the GBBC. Today was entirely devoted to: Refining two additional commentaries (the usual quirky Zick stuff about birds doing things nobody knew they do), editing the aforementioned piece, and getting my carcass to Athens, 1 1/2 hours away.
Recorded the three pieces from 1-1:40, jumped back in the car, hit the store and reprovisioned the house, and walked in just in time to hear the Great Backyard Bird piece air at 4:20. This is the first time I've been on NPR twice in the same week, and both times the piece aired in the first half-hour of the show. KOOL. Here's the crazy part: the blogging commentary that aired Monday is still sitting in the top 10 most e-mailed stories, even as another airs. Sharon told me that a blog was the place for shameless self-promotion. So there you go.
Needless to say, I counted birds all the way home. The kildeers are in!! and I counted three. Turkey vultures were circling! (about a dozen). Kestrels were everywhere. Spring is here, spring is here, and I love it, even though it's going down to the teens in the next few nights. Those blooming water maples and budding willows are going to have to shiver.
Today is very special for another reason. It's the one-year anniversary of the day Phoebe, Liam and I drove to SE Pennsylvania to pick up the tiny puppy, Chet Baker. We started the day with a big cuddle in bed, treasuring this amazing being who makes us all so very happy. I don't know how one little animal can make such a huge difference in four lives, but he does, and I'm not about to question it. I'm just going to go give him a big hug, and a fabulous stuffed crab with googly eyes and lots of Hollofil to strew around the living room.


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