What I Did On My Winter Vacation

Went to Foolscap in Redmond, which was an awesome little con, delighted to meet fans and friends and new friends and hopefully new fans. It was great! They’re doing a lot of good stuff and I hope they keep on doing it. (Preferred pronoun ribbons. Simple, straightforward, everybody had them. Awesome.)

And then I went birdwatching.

In Eastern Washington.

In winter.

With Tina.

Sometimes it looked like this:

coldtree

Mostly it looked like this.

primitiveroads

There was a lot of careening around on icy roads, fishtailing in snow, looking for birds. But we found them! Ten lifers for me–Horned Lark, Snow Bunting, Rough-Legged Hawk, Sharp-Tailed Grouse, Clark’s Nutcracker, Gray-Crowned Rosy Finch, Northern Pygmy Owl (so tiny! so grumpy!) Pine Grosbeak, Townsend’s Solitaire, and a truly spectacular Long-Eared Owl.

LEOwl2small

This owl has been hanging around Seattle and is surrounded by bird paparazzi because he seriously does not seem to care that there are humans twelve feet away clicking shutters frantically. This owl slept the way I sleep–deeply and apocalyptically. He was magnificent.

The whole theme of the trip seemed to be “Very few birds, but amazing looks at the ones we saw.” We got the Pygmy Owl on a wire directly over the road, the Sharp-Tailed Grouse roosting in a tree by the road like an oversized mourning dove(!!) and Horned Larks landing on the road in front of the car to pick salt off it. It was pretty wild.

quailmission

Everybody out of the way! California Quail coming through!

painthorse

Hi, I was told the auditions for the Bev Doolittle paintings were being held here?

blazehorse

Also I have a new camera and was trying it out a lot. This is not a bird. Just in case anyone was wondering.

  • reply Mean Waffle ,

    “This is not a bird. Just in case anyone was wondering.”

    Oh, you know you could make it a bird if you wanted to. It could be the grumpy Northern Pygmy Owl’s cheerful, placid friend.

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