Other than the quickly approaching end of the month and being down several posts to meet my quota, things are starting to look up. Dealing with Mom’s estate has taken a serious chunk of time, but that should wrapped up at this week’s closing – thankfully my oldest brother is taking the brunt of the financial aspects – Ron and I focused on the busy grunt work cleaning out the house etc. – which is pretty much the way it is around our house as well ha. The conditioning for the upcoming weekend race (Bix 7 link here) is nearly behind me as well. One more short taper and then just try to be as healthy as possible entering the chutes. Heat is usually a problem, however, I did punish myself on some very hot long run days – fingers crossed the internal thermostat doesn’t go bonkers. My training runs are well beyond the 7 mile distance so that isn’t a problem. That just leaves the ankle as the unknown wildcard. Feels strong, even made it through two trail runs without tweaking it again (yeah) …but still swollen. I don’t know, maybe that is just the new norm. I’ll try body shaming and hurling insults at that weak-punk-ass ankle for the next couple of days and see if it will finally give up the pity act!
Since we are talking about conditioning, thought this feathered friend would fit theme.
Hit the jump to read a bit more about this chance encounter.
Actually, it isn’t a subject fit as much as a technical execution theme. You were being secretly “conditioned” to accept sub-par pictures with the last post. Those Say’s Phoebe shots were just slightly better than my dog’s paint by number crafts and he can’t even stay in the lines yet. I need to teach him to put his paw on the line and simply bring the brush up to it -it’s the simple tricks that gets your art on the refrigerator door or on the wall for parent teacher conferences! I digress – back to these soft shots of a new bird for me.
That there is a Golden-Winged Warbler. Hallelujah, no name based on an indistinguishable feature this time, nope, the bird actually sports two golden colored bars on its wings. The ID is fairly straightforward, the issue for me was actually finding one. They Winter in the lower half of Central American and northern part of South American before migrating pretty much straight north eventually settling into the upper Midwest. If you look at Cornell’s regional maps it looks like they go out of their way to spend time in our woods – survey says that’s a LIE!
I’ve have NEVER seen this bird anywhere near me and even missed its arrival (and apparent departure) during our trip down to Dauphin Island last year. Thanks to a trip up to Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary on the Chicago lakeshore, I can finally check this bird off the hunt list.
I do need to give credit to the three ladies standing next to me in the sanctuary or you would be reading about the Bunny Rabbit I was busy taking a picture of before I overhearing one say (in a shockingly nonchalant manner) “Yep, there’s the Golden-Wing”. Whaaa Whaaa Whaaaat!?!?! Sorry Bunny, its checkmark time. Politely asked if I heard right and greatly appreciative when they pointed to it sitting in a dense tangle of brush and low shrubs. Their preferred habitat – not very conducive to those of us carrying big glass in the field. Spike the ISO and pray it hops into an opening. Yeah, that didn’t happen. She did decide to give me a quick look as it briefly popped up on a low tree branch before darting of – not to be seen again that day.
Was lucky enough to at least crank the shutter up to keep from causing a Chicago white-out blizzard. The fact you can tell it is a bird, much less see the golden bars is a miracle in itself. Eeesh, out of shots. Time to get to some takeaways. This is a female specimen. The males are quite stunning with a black mask and throat patch on a silvery backdrop with a bright yellow crown. They are known for their wicked looking sharp black bills they use to reach deep into rolled up leaves for creepies and crawlies. Our Minnesota readers may be interested in knowing they have the highest density of these declining Warblers – Cornell indicates they have the steepest population loss of any Warbler in the past 45 years. Pretty weak beyond they like to get some strange when the Blue-Winged Warblers come around. No judgement here, the little perverts.
Well, that’s a wrap. Apologies for the poor shots – these and the ones coming next ugh. It would be nice if I could bring you a male – just need to find those three ladies to point one out to me ha! Take care all,