Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

End of the Year 2018

Saturday proved a very cold day. In the late morning, the fellows came over from the company that lays traps for rodents. Guided by my wife, I was able to report that we no longer hear a squirrel in the attic, as a humane trap that permits egress but not ingress sufficed to solve the scampering sound circus.

In the mid-afternoon, I went for a walk on the Celebration Pass Trail in Allen, Celebration Park is perhaps a five-minute drive from our home. That park features lots of ballfields, a small wooded area, and a splash park for Summer use. It has a nifty little duck pond that in Winter is filled with ducks, cormorants and gulls.

The trail that starts there, the "pass", runs under a busy street via tunnel, and then is a paved way with houses on the left and a thin stand of trees and bushes on the right. For some reason, this is some of the best birding in my town. This time I saw 20 species in a couple of hours. One of the species, a White-Crowned Sparrow, was a "first of the year" sighting. This marked my 106th and last new species of the year in my home area of Collin County. In the past four years, my results have been 107, 103, 110, 106, so I seem to plow a familiar field each time. In the small park nearest my home, Glendover Park, I saw 57 individual species. The eBird website shows that there were a possible 239 species in my area in 2018, and that my count was 44.35% of the total species.

I can think of species that I missed this year but have seen other years. I did not see an American White Pelican, a Merlin, an American Pippit,, an Eastern Towhee or a Spotted Towhee. I turned in some 251 checklists this year, so I was closer to 2 days out of every 3 than turning in one each day. I had fun.

We spent a quiet Saturday evening together. Sunday morning I walked on the Chisholm Trail in Plano. At WW, I found I had lost a pound during Christmas week, so that huge second helping at the holiday buffet caused no grief. I walked in little Green Park in the early afternoon and in Glendover Park.

Monday I got up and did some family business paperwork. Then I went to the office, arriving near 10 a.m. Our office was officially closed today, but I wanted to get a couple of things done. I did some client work, and I did some firm business review, I left in the afternoon. I drove up to McKinney to make a deposit in Bancorp South on El Dorado Parkway. I was pleased that there was no line. I also thought I needed to stop by the Allen post office (actually, I had already mailed the item in question). The line of cars waiting to put mail in the outdoors box stretched into the street.

The weather went from cold to pleasant late Monday afternoon. I drove to Brockdale Park, on Lake Lavon. I walked there seeing what birds I could see--gulls and cormorants and a Great Blue Heron and a Savannah Sparrow. Then I went home and took Beatrice for a walk in
Glendover Park.

Beatrice had had a stressful day. Today my wife took her to her appointment with her specialist vet who checks her heart. She passed with flying colors, as her various heart conditions did not require new medications. I suspect that given Beatrice's very advanced age there is only so much alteration that one could make.

During her walk, Beatrice saw her one true friend, the Shih Tzu named Diva. Diva was walking off-leash as her male owner talked to a woman with another small dog. Diva marched up to Beatrice and they said hello to each other. I like Diva's friendly, gentle ways, and she seems to truly like Beatrice. They have a very casual friendship with only limited interaction, but that suits Beatrice down to the ground. When Diva had said "hi", Diva kept on walking down the sidewalk, away from her owner. As her owner passed, he smiled and said "She knows I have the key to get in, and that she will need to wait". Sure enough, Diva paused to wait for her owner to catch up.

Beatrice and I also met a dog about three times Beatrice's size. Its owner restrained that dog gently, and the two dogs touched noses. Beatrice is more tolerant of large dogs as she gets older. For years, she felt most large dogs were commoners (Beatrice is a kind of puggle-like junkyard dog, so any pretensions she has are based on merit not outmoded prejudices).

Monday evening we ate shrimp and pasta. We tried out some of the flavored olive oils that I got my wife for Christmas. I am not much for olive oil, but my wife likes it.

Monday night I went through this weblog with the search function, hunting for all the entries in which I mention myl local nephew. His birthday is this month. I hope to make a little booklet of all the entries pertaning to him. It all ran about 20 pages. I will download Scribus or some other appropriate software and see if I can make a little chapbook of it. Now that I think about it, the chapbook I made in 1999 I made with word. Perhaps I could simply use LIbreOffice.

I am off today ,and hope to do some practical things as well as to log in a few birds.

from Dreamwidth, because two posts of the same text are twice as nice

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