Conditions: Winter Weather Advisory posted until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow. 14 inches of snow and considerable drifts expected.
This weekend marked the 12th annual Audubon Great Backyard Bird Count. You may be familiar with the event from past blog posts here, including our send up of Audubon and our daily tally contest last year. You may even remember our urgent and enthusiastic reminder about the count issued in December, after we completed our Christmas count.
You may, in fact, remember all of those things. You would be perfectly reasonable in assuming, then, that the authors of those postings would remember the actual Backyard Bird Count. If you made such an assumption, you’d be right—but only partially so.
It seems that one of us (and in spite of what the caninaturalist thinks, I really don’t think there’s any reason to mention names here) blithely flew to Chicago to attend a conference and completely forgot about the much-anticipated count. She met with publishers and authors, listened to poets read their work, and dined at great restaurants. She reunited with old friends, made some new ones, and even got to see a team of huskies race down Michigan Avenue. In other words, she had a great time. And it never, never, NEVER occurred to her that she was supposed to be counting birds.
That is, until she received an email from Marigold, Goat Philosopher asking how the caninaturalist count was going. I’m not going to lie: she felt shame. You may recall Marigold was our bird counting champion last year, besting humans and dogs alike. You may remember a few gauntlets were thrown down as a result of this victory, and promises were made that DWB members would have the last word this year.
It seems those bold assertions may have been made in vain. But not for lack of trying on the home front.
While that certain someone was living the life of letters in the Windy City, the rest of her pack was making a valiant (and unbeknownst) effort to complete the count at home.
Leila Tov led the charge, staking out prime real estate at our feeder window. It’s tiring work hanging from a window frame, though, so Ari offered to spell her after a few hours.
She was soon joined by Mouse, who also agreed to lend a paw.
The husband kept their tallies each day.
And when the delinquent certain-someone returned home, one very brazen (and smug) cat made sure she saw the list.
I’m not proud. And I am embarrassed. I’d say better luck next year, but at this rate, who can say for certain I’ll get my act together by then?