Every day I'm still alive is a good day, but today was a particularly good day. First of all, it didn't rain very much. It didn't rain at all while we were checking/cleaning the wood duck nest boxes. And, good news! Four of the six boxes were one-fourth to one-half filled with soft moss. Two of those I know had babies hatch from them: one Wood Duck clutch and one Hooded Merganser clutch. The other boxes are so far down in the woods that I seldom see them. I don't know if ducks filled several boxes with moss and then chose one or if we had more than two mamas this past year. At any rate, it's always fun to know our nest boxes are appreciated.
More good news came when we were given permission to go through locked gates in the near future to survey Black Oystercatchers in two of my survey sites. One is that Neskowin site where we froze our feet crossing a river. Never again! Now we can go through the locked gate to a beach access point on the far side of the icy water. Plus drive up a private road to a point overlooking more BLOY territory north of Neskowin that we've been unable to access before.
The second site to grant us permission will have someone show us a back way, in a couple days, to a lookout point over coves we've never been able to get to from our 3 Rocks beach access. Oh happy days! To get to that beach in the summer, we canoe across the Salmon River. I do not want to canoe across a cold, swollen, tidal river in the winter.
Unrelated good news came in the form of an adorable puppy. A woman who brought her goats to be bred to my bucks today had a 10-week-old puppy with her... a Bernese Mountain Dog/Swiss Mountain Dog/Great Pyrenees cross. It looked just like a Bernese Mountain Dog to me and was very calm and affectionate. Our livestock guardian "puppy", now four years old, is anything but "calm". I want a second dog to help with guard duties on the farm but have been dreading dealing with another hyperactive pup. I have loved Bernese Mountain Dogs ever since I met them at a llama farm many years ago. Hopefully, I will be able to reserve a pup from a future litter. The puppy's mom is owned by a lady in our county. Cool!
Another piece of good news came in the form of a phone call to Johnny. It was Amtrak calling to say everyone on the train that was delayed for so long (on Johnny's birthday) would be getting a $50 rebate. To me, that means Johnny's round trip fare as a senior (there are some benefits to being old) was less than $100. Johnny's take on it, being Johnny, is that his next trip down to see the kids in Calif. will only cost him $12. When I reminded him that he had to buy another ticket to get home, he just shrugged. Gotta love his attitude.
The best news of the day, in my opinion, was that Johnny did not fall off the very high ladder needed to check each nest box and I did not topple into the streams while crawling over that same ladder, thoughtfully laid by Johnny across the rushing, freezing, wide creeks... although I came close. Yes, indeedy... any day we're both still alive and able to move is a very good day.