Last week I walked up the steps to see Siku growling at the door. I opened the door and she crouched down in this hilarious stalking position and began crawling outside. Anytime she does this, I laugh, because it’s normally a small dog, a fish, a duck, or something else equally innocuous. Sure enough, after poking my head around the door, I grabbed her and pulled her back in. There was a tiny swallow stuck on the walkway by the door. I hollered at JM, who promptly picked the bird up and out him in a cupcake holder lid. After giving the bird quite a bit of attention, we sat it on the ledge and went back to cleaning. Siku crouched down to keep watch on our visitor.

A short while later, I came back in to Siku growling menacingly. The bird had apparently come to its senses (I think it had crashed into our door), and was now hiding behind the tv.

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I was texting Dad at the time, who said, “Well, a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush! Just open the door and it will fly out.”

Turns out, he was right…after about an hour and the dumb birdie getting it “wrong” several times. It’s a wonder he didn’t knock himself out multiple times and never get out.

Least he’s better off than this one….

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It is SO hot today, and wouldn’t you know it – our air conditioning died this morning! We noticed on Wednesday that our fan started running continuously, so we scheduled an appointment for the Sears technician to come out and repair what I think is the fan relay switch this morning. However, the AC was still working so we weren’t in a terrible rush…until this am when we stopped getting cold air. I know this is a shock to my last roommate and sister, but I WANT my AC. I typically don’t turn it on until Aug, partially because I get cold all the time and partially because I am cheap and don’t like to pay for it, but either I have gotten old and spoiled or today is exceptionally hot. We’ll see what tech man says about fixing it when he shows up in his window between 8-12 (which any sane person knows means 12:15).

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Update: I was wrong, he finally showed up at 2:15. The good news is – replaced the thermostat and everything works perfectly!! Plus, we found out it’s a central heat and air system, so this winter we should be nice and toasty.

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When we came home today, it was immediately obvious there was something different – and wrong – about the water. There were what looked like large logs floating in it
and the water looked heavier than I’d seen before. Sure enough, as the evening goes on, there are increasing amounts of some type of discharge in the water. The neighbors are all on the dock discussing it – it simply can’t be ignored. We don’t know if it’s sewage or another type of human or farm waste, but it smells like manure and carries with it all types of trash and dead fish floating on top due to the heaviness of it. I’ve never seen a river look like this before.

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We went to Tennessee for the weekend, which was amazing. While there, however, the dog did not sit at all, and in fact, turned into Buck from the famous Jack London novel. My brother-in-law mowed the field, which was far overgrown and knee-high, and Siku nearly immediately found a baby rabbit nest. The first one didn’t make it out of her grasp unscathed, but the rest of them we covered back up and kept the dog away to see if the mom returned. According to some sites on the Internet, the way to see if the mom would return was to cover the nest back up with the original covering and two small twigs in the shape of an x. We did that yesterday, but as of this morning, nothing had changed. So I called the local wildlife rehabilitator – Lynne – and made arrangements to drop them off this afternoon. Right before we left, I noticed Siku back out there sniffing around, so went out to scold her and rescue them, but they were completely gone – I am sure to some predator, rather than the mama. After having spent last week watching Untamed America on the National Geographic channel, I recognize that one animals weakness is another’s food source. Even yet, baby rabbits without their eyes open are some of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. For now, we put the dog back in the Jeep and are taking et back to Northern Virginia where she’ll have to remember to be domesticated.

We’ve discovered a tiny duckling living under our swim deck in the back of the boat. I tried to feed it today, but it was having none of it. Every time I threw bread near it, it would swim the other direction as fat as its tiny little webbed feet would take it.

This duck was completely the opposite. Normally our bird visitors are the tiny ones who are after the dropped bird food seeds – this was the first time we’ve seen a duck on the back deck.

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Today was only a marginal day at work, much to my surprise. It was like I was on a wild-goose research chase and no matter how much I looked, I couldn’t find what I was looking for. So, I was pleasantly surprised when, in a somewhat sullen mood, I arrived home and found the following sight.

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If you look outside, you can see the fishing balls we brought back from France.

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And outside you can see the front deck – JM reconnected the mesh to keep the summer Mosquitos out and the flowers are growing like mad as long as I keep my brown thumb away from them.

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Sure do love this boat!

Well, we are back from vacation, but the jet lag continues to stay with us. Yesterday we woke up around 4 and took the dog for a walk on the canal footpath in DC. It was amazing – we were out there no later than 6 AM and there were so few people out, the wildlife were out in droves.

When we first arrived, we saw two huge black birds drying their wings atop a light pole. They looked so much like a part of the pole that it was shocking when they moved.

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We saw several other fun things through the morning, but the weirdest thing to catch our attention was what I’ve finally decided was a snakehead fish. We first noticed it splashing and seemingly fighting under the tree branches on the side of the water. A runner passed us and said, “whatever that was, it is big!”. Sure enough, over the next mile, we walked at its pace along the water and caught glimpses of it every time there was something in its path. We guessed it to be everything – an otter, a snake eating a fish, a fish eating a fish, a fish eating a snake, fish mating, a fish eating a turtle, flesh-eating bacteria, the loch ness monster, a fish eating a dog, and finally, a snakehead fish. Although it took us close to an hour to come up with that one, I believe it was the right one, mostly judged because we stopped guessing other species.

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After that excitement, the rest of the walk was mostly dull except when we got to see two red-breasted tiny birds dive bombing an egret.