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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

It was such a cool day here, in two ways. First, it never cracked 60 degrees--heavy scudding clouds, flashes of blue and shots of sunlight, and a cold northwest breeze. It was an express train for warblers, vireos, tanagers and thrushes. We got a simply ridiculous list of birds--more than 50 species just off the back deck. A dozen of those were warblers! Plus crippling looks at Swainson's and wood thrush. Luckily, BOTB was working at home, and when one of us would glance up and spot birds going through, we'd both race out to the deck for a 15-minute hit of power fall birding (our favorite kind!) I'd love to list the birds that came through the birches, sycamore, willow, and mulberry right off our deck, but that would be boring, and besides it would narrow down the possible candidates for my Nefarious Quiz. The quiz is Nefarious because it is Hard, and because there is no Prize. Arrrr. Now that you know what you're getting into...

what's THIS? We shall call it #1.OK, what's THIS? #2And, worst of all, this? #3 (Hint: It's not an ivory-billed woodpecker.) Arrrr! (I'm still talking like a pirate today). I really do apologize for this one. You may feel free to throw up your hands, or your breakfast.All seen in our yard, all cruddily photographed through glass with a toy camera by yours truly.

Those of you who think birds are nice, but don't really care what names they go by, may feel free to pine for Chet Baker, and scroll down for your hit. The rest of you can fill the comment section with guesses good, guesses bad, and guesses from Mars. I'll give the answers there.
While we were watching warblers from the high deck, Chet spotted a benneh in the yard. We could tell because he started trembling and breathing hard, and his eyes were like twin laser beams focused on the nibbling lagomorph. I suggested that he give it a run for its money and he soundlessly padded down the stairs and tore out to try to catch it. The benneh watched calmly until Baker was about 15' away, then shot sideways while he continued madly on his straight line. We never tire of watching the bennehs outsmart our Baker. Even the baby ones take dog-fooling tutorials from their moms.
Baker was trotting back from chasing the rabbit and thoroughly sniffing where it had been sitting when he caught the scent of honey. He followed it to a little hole by our foundation. The next thing we heard was a sharp yip and a thump! as Baker ran straight into the wall of our house. He was writhing on the grass as five yellowjackets pumped him full of venom. OW OW OW! I ran and brushed them off, and pulled the stingers out (hadn't known that yellowjackets left their stingers like honeybees, but they did). I put a 25 mg Benadryl down Chet's throat (telling him it was a Bennehdryl) and tucked him under the covers to sleep off the pain. Poor Baker.
As the afternoon wore on his swelling got worse, until he bore a strong resemblance to Quasimodo. You be the judge...
I'm happy to say he's much improved now, and he never lost his appetite or willingness to play. Bostons, as Susan is joyfully discovering, are very tough little dogs, forgiving of insults, abounding in love and goodwill.Smile, and the world smiles with you. Even when you look like Quasi. Welcome to the good life, Boomer K. Williams. And while I'm being congratulatory, happy first Bloggin' Anniversary to my life light and heartbeat and best birding partner, Bill of the Birds. Go give him a huzzah!
This is not BOTB. This is a Disney hunchbaque.


Oh, Chet B--sorry sorry. Are you also growing a little humpity on your back?

I will tell you that the worst insect encounter my husband had came from yellow jackets. They are nasty insects.

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