Thursday, May 27, 2010

Silver Linings

Every cloud, they say, has a silver lining. The cloud over our house these last several weeks has been Johnny's bad back. I have found several silver linings in that cloud but I'm not sure Johnny would agree.

First, his being laid up and stuck in the house meant he had time to crack walnuts for me. I wanted them to make butter pecan ice cream. We don't have pecans but we have several sacks of walnuts from my Dad's walnut orchard, gathered a couple years ago. They don't taste too great raw, but cooked in butter, they're wonderful. At least, they are when I don't burn the butter. I've made four batches of butter walnut ice cream this week, three of which I didn't ruin with burned buttered walnuts. (Try saying that fast.) It's really delicious.

Second, since Johnny could not canoe the Salmon River with me to do a follow-up survey at 3 Rocks for our Black Oystercatcher project, I elected to climb Cascade Head from the park where we normally launch our canoe. Friend Marilyn agreed to go with me. It was a steep climb and when we finally came out into the meadow where we could look down, way down, at 3 Rocks, I found no BLOY. I didn't expect to since we'd found none on our canoe-aided survey from the beach.

But the good news is when Marilyn and I walked farther along the trail, we came to a point where we could look north. And there below us were numerous offshore rocks, the sort that BLOY just love to hang out on. I set up my scope and found two different rocks with BLOY on them. This is the first time in my years of monitoring Oystercatchers that I've found a point where I could survey the rocks on the north side of the Head. And all because Johnny hurt his back. I hope he recovers to the point where he can hike that trail with me as it is really lovely, although long. It took Marilyn and me an hour up and longer back. We birded our way slowly down the wooded, bird-filled trail where I took this blurry photo of a Hairy Woodpecker that landed right in front of us.

Today's good news is that Johnny was able to ride with me in the car to the grocery store. It will be really good news when he can go back to doing our shopping again: I hate shopping. He also rode his bicycle around our house when the sun came out. Lots of silver linings in those clouds today...

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