17 April 2008

And Number 100 is . .

. . The Orchard Oriole. A pair of them, to be exact. I walked the Nature Trail here in Moss Creek this afternoon and saw a really good variety of birds. The one and only new bird, however, for my Big Year list is this pair of Orchard Orioles I came across on my way back. They were chittering around in a small shrub near a new bridge on the trail, the black-and-chestnut male preferring to stay a little more hidden than the mostly-yellow female. The Orchard Oriole is also a "Lifer" for me, meaning I can also add it to my Life List. You can figure out what that is, can't you?

So, 108 days into the year I've positively ID'ed 100 birds. My original goal for the Big Year was 150, and I truly think I can eclipse that with no real struggles. Keep in mind that I still have trips to New York and Florida planned for later in the summer, as well as Hilton Head for Thanksmas. Sorry I don't have a photo of the orioles, the big lens is out of commission currently, so I haven't been taking the camera with me when I go birding. If you want some photos, go back and look at the baby ducks. They're really cute.

14 April 2008

Bass Ackward

You'd think cats would be smarter. 10 minutes ago I scooped the litter box. I just watched Cheeks (arguably the dumber of our two cats) walk into the laundry room, drop a righteous deuce, then come out and immediately start eating her cat food. The food is, due to space limitations, mere feet from the litter box.

I guess it was emergent. I totally understand when it's eminent. Time to go equals time to go. I'd like to think though, that given the chance, she'd have chosen to reverse that sequence of events.

13 April 2008

7 New Recipes

I have been unbelievably lazy about typing in and posting new recipes. I freely admit this and apologize for it. The truth is, this trend would undoubtedly have continued ad nauseum had I not faced relentless nagging from Mandi to get some of them typed in. So I did 7. Just do me a favor and act like that's a lot.

The new recipes are somewhat thematic . . 2 Piccatas, 2 shrimp dishes, et cetera. The Tilapia Piccata is one I would recommend were someone trying to, say, make dinner for a group of 4 or 5 friends. You know who you are. It's super easy, fast, and tastes very fancy. It's not, but they don't have to know that. The Shrimp and Couscous Jambalaya is another quick and easy one that will make you feel good about your cooking skills, even if you don't have any. If you can chop some veggies and remember to pre-boil the shrimp, you're in there. Finally, those trying to sneak extra vegetables into their kids' diets will appreciate the Beef, Cheese, and Noodle Bake. The trick is to put the onions and carrots into the food processor before cooking, causing them to essentially disappear into the sauce of the finished product. Consider omitting the small amount of ground nutmeg if your kids are particularly picky eaters. If they're not picky, can we trade?

As Promised

Mama Mallard is not a fan of the paparazzi. When the flash bulbs commence to popping, she heads for the cover of the reeds. She is not a typical Hollywood Mommy, prone to parading her babies out for all to see. That being said, this photo, while not great, should command hundreds if not thousands of dollars on the open market. Its quality isn't great, and it doesn't really do the ducklings justice. They're a lot cuter up close and in good light than this photo portrays. But it was the best I could get, so enjoy it.