St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Pacman Bird

Fog at 6:30 am

Trumpeter Swan drifts by 7:30 am
Listening on my porch each morning and evening I hear a couple of amazing bird calls.  Sounds a little like a flute playing the scales very rapidly.

After going to the Cornell U Birdsongs website and listening to each one, I finally determined it was a Veery Thrush.

 A very nice video can be found on youtube. 

 Veery Thrush singing

  Son Scott, who grew up in the 80s and 90s visited the cabin with Margo for Father's day.   Hearing it yesterday evening, he said "Oh, the Pacman bird."

Pacman is a 1990 video game where a little circle with a mouth goes around a maze gobbling ghosts or being gobbled.  I searched the Internet and found a Pacman "ghost gobble" siren sound.   It does sound a little like the Veery.  Each generation has its own context it appears!

Pacman Siren sound

While listening to the Veery early this morning, the Trumpeter Swan swam by, a distant Sandhill Crane sounded, and all sorts of other birds chimed in.  I took a dew covered walk down to the lake--not a hint of a breeze at all. 

As I walked down the hill the temperature cooled and the sweet and pungent smell of lake water, swampy edges, rich with decay and life filled the still cool air.  In the distance, a deer stood watching me and let me approach to gradually before leaping in huge bounds off into the brush and trees.  

Far to the north, an occasional beef cow bellow reminded me that mother's are already grumbling about their children's behavior early in the morning.  Father's day is today, so other than the trumpeter honking, and the birds claiming their territory, we are too mellow to bellow.  

Margo is up for the weekend.  She still tires easily, but seems to be getting back to normal after a year from cancer diagnosis and ending treatment last Monday.  She visited her hair dresser who made a quick trim of her sideburns and back of the neck for free and where she caught up on what has been happening in Pine Island as well as moving back into the world of feeling like a normal person with normal schedules.  She plans to be up to the cabin in mid July after a few more appointments and a stay with a friend who needs a little help after hip surgery. It will be nice to have her back!

Spent most of Saturday at the spring writer's conference in Balsam Lake where we learned about the best book readers  and how to write books for book readers and to self publish.   As I am already very much into that, didn't learn much other than that most of the others are still just testing the waters.  The technical person who described the complications of choosing and using a book reader pretty much scared off many of the folks (average age >65),   I told them not to get too worried for if they got into trouble, their grandchildren could get things straightened out!

I ordered copies of the brand new "75 Years of the Sterling Old Settler's Picnic" picture book to get them back in time for the June 30th potluck picnic at Cushing, WI.  I was not finished--had much more captioning of photos to do, but it is such an exacting, boring, tedious effort, that my head and heart were just not into it this year.  Maybe edition 2, next year will be better.  I opined that it would be just as easy to take the flack for not captioning the individuals in each photo as to get them labelled wrong!   One hundred sixty eight 8.5x11 pages.   Ordered 15 full color books (cost about $15 each to print and will sell for $20) and 60 black and white (cost about $5 to print and sell for $10).  The financials are through the Sterling Eureka and Laketown Historical Society -- they pay for the printing and get the profit and I contribute my effort free (or maybe for the infamy). 

   You can get a preview of the books checking at Amazon
Picnic Book (Black and White)