Background Switcher (Hidden)

Phalarope Love, Wasabi Lenses

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Phalaropes, like the Wilson's phalaropes hanging out in a flooded cornfield outside Pingree, North Dakota, have an interesting spin on the usual boy-meets girl, courts girl, and makes cloacal contact story that comprises most bird courtship. The female phalarope is the Sadie Hawkins of shorebirds. Not only is she larger and more brightly colored than the male, but she also takes the initiative in courtship. And once she's laid her eggs, the male is left to incubate them and care for the (luckily precocial) chicks. Wow. Can I get a Hayull Yeah! from the ladies out there?

Though the lighting wasn't great, and the birds were very distant, I trained my 300 mm. lens on a couple of phalaropes, hoping something might be going down between them. First, the female approached the male. She's the one on the left, with the darker red neck. He's paler, and kind of scrunched down. You're a handsome fellow. May I buy you a drink?
They did a little strutting, female in the lead. Hayull Yeah. All aboard!Oh, excuse me. Just checking out somebody over across the slough. Sorry.Almost...
I love it when you go all puffy.Update on the unpack: Trader Joe's has these tamari wasabi almonds that I love so much that I brought them along. I could have only two carry-ons, and those were my laptop and my photo backpack. In the mad re-pack to make our way home, I put snacks in the body of the photo backpack, since the front pockets were full. The almonds sprang open and about a half-pound of wasabi dust went all over my camera and lenses. I said (well, shouted) some very, very bad things when I found my camera nestled in a bed of green wasabi salt dust. Now, there's a lesson. No freakin' food in the camera backpack. Well, maybe jerky. No wasabi almonds. I brushed the equipment off and took a power hose to the backpack and left it in the sun. It still smells faintly of wasabi. Far as I can tell the lens caps did their job. Any piece of optical equipment that belongs to me earns its living.

A mouse died in the dryer lint trap. Or perhaps a whole nest of mice. Can't get to it. Tried to figure out how to pull the front off the dryer. Couldn't. Tried to dig around through the little lint trap slot with chopsticks. It's like trying to pull a cow through a transom. Hanging out load after load of tiny underwear and socks. Hoping it turns to compost by the time the weather turns cold. Putting my faith in putrefaction.

Shopped for food. Ran into friends. Talked a lot. Took hours. Still, I love living in a small town for just that reason, that someone will make fun of me reading US Magazine or the Star in the grocery line. Had to get an update on Nicole's bump, Katie's private anguish and Angie's spindly arms. Life's not easy for anybody, that's all.

Happy birthday, Barbie. I love you.
[Back to Top]