Monday, August 13, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
Posted by Bill of the Birds at 12:39 PM
We all spent the past week in western New York at The Chautauqua Institution where Julie and I have been giving lectures and teaching the occasional course for the past six years. Chautauqua a lovely place to spend a week, especially when it's sunny and nice.
Normally, we slow down during our week at Chautauqua. This year our stay was nipped off at both ends by family events, so instead of seven days, we got five. Since our typical travel style makes Hannibal look like he had only carry-on luggage, we also lost most of a day to packing/loading and undoing/re-doing the same. Thus our time was short and we never seemed to stop moving--there was always something we needed to do.
Adding to this was the fact that our Chautauqua weather luck ran out--it rained for some or all of every day. This was no huge deal for me because I had a boatload of work to do, so I knew I was going to be inside most of the time. Phoebe, Liam, and Julie were more affected because they spent more time walking and biking the Chautauqua grounds. Chet did not mind, because, rain or shine, there were still dozens of strange dogs--many of them designer breeds--for sniffing and chasing.
I think I see why people stay at Chautauqua for the entire nine-week season--it makes it more possible to find time to chill out.
The kids spent the days in Boys & Girls Club making new friends and talking themselves hoarse. If we go back next year, Liam will be riding his bike everywhere--he's now mastered the art of riding a two-wheeler sans training wheels.
The Bird, Tree, & Garden Club has been monitoring the purple martin colonies at Chautauqua for years. This year they set a new record for the number of fledglings. Jack Galvan, who is the lead martineer, said the martins ate a ton of red admiral butterflies this summer. Imagine having to catch a butterfly for your food!
I was disappointed not to get out for a sail on the lake this year. That totally made last year's visit for me--being able to sail solo in a tiny Sunfish on a huge expanse of water. Alas, there simply was no time..
OK enough whining! We're back home and seeing lots of very active birds around the farm, signaling the advent of fall migration. And it seems like only yesterday I was listening for the first blue-gray gnatcatcher of the spring.
Reminds me of the fabulous song sung by Sandy Denny and the lads from Fairport Convention:
Who knows where the time goes....?
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