Tuesday, May 08, 2007

It really is, I swear

I am really late in posting tonight. I had to burn CD's full of pictures because the memory on my PC is bloated. And then the stupid thing froze, then an update updated. Jeez.

I realized just how lucky I was to live where I do. A beautiful day, two eager kids, and I could hardly decide which park to go to.
Armleder? Symmes? Lake Isabella?
The Nature Center?
The girls' favorite is the CNC, so that's where we went.

Cute turtle nose
We always have to feed the turtles and fish. The visitor center has a dispenser of fish/turtle food for 25 cents a handful. We usually buy $2 worth.
The fish and turtles must have been full, and we were getting ready to take a nature walk when I noticed a mom with two little kids feeding the Canada geese (these are two geese who have lost their natural fear of humans and we have resorted to carrying a stick when we feed the fish and turtles to scare off the geese. I mean, these goofy birds get up on the dock with us!)
This woman had brought a bag of bread and was encouraging her kids to feed the two freeloaders.
I was going to refrain from saying anything. I swear.
But the woman engaged me in conversation as we passed.
I thought to myself, "Now's a good time to educate. You're a birder. You know you should tell her." May I mention that the woman was sitting FIVE feet from a sign that said NOT to feed the waterfowl?
So I said to her, "You know, you aren't supposed to feed the geese."
Her: "Oh. Really?"
Me: "Yes. These two especially. They are way too comfortable around people and they will get too close to you and they will bite."
Her: "So, do you work here?" (Said with a bit of a snide tone.) Cheeky bitch.
Me: "No. But I'm a birder and besides, there's a sign right there."
Then one of her kids kept on throwing bread!
Me: "And bread is REALLY unhealthy for birds."
Her: "Oh. Sorry."
And as we walked away, I heard her tell her kids to close the bags.
While I appreciate a mom trying to expose her kids to some "nature", I really wanted to punch her in the face for her attitude and lack of basic reading skills. What kind of message is she sending to her kids (one of which was definitely old enough to read) when she blatantly defies a sign prohibiting what she is doing?

Bug on white flower
An unknown bug on an unknown flower.

And here's the reason I am going on a bird trip alone.
I spotted this bird sitting on a CHAIR in the back of the visitor center, and told the girls to freeze. They KNOW what it means to "Bird freeze!" And they ignored me.
This is a great crested flycatcher. I swear it is.
But the girls scared him off into the trees and ruined my chance of getting a good, identifying picture of him. But it's a great crested flycatcher.
great crested flycatcher

Flycatcher 2

Flycatcher 3
I love people who advertise their interests:
Treehugger sticker
And look! A pair of squirrels who can read!
(Apparently a lot better than the bread-throwing twit)
Watch for animals on driveway


Liza Lee Miller said...

Sigh. Don't get me started. At my school, we have a big sign at the entrance that says, "No dogs!" At least 10 parents bring their dogs on campus to pick up there kids with them. When you confront them they always have an excuse . . . "it's just for a minute" "oh, she loves kids" "everyone else does it" Honestly -- we even have a family who bring their CAT on a leash to pick up the kids. I'd LOVE to bring my dog to pick up the kids but she waits in the car when its cool and at home when it isn't.

On the plus side, that "tree hugging dirt worshiper" sign is very common in our area! Love it!

We gotta keep trying to educate them though. You KNOW the kids were listening (yours and hers!).

katdoc said...

I love squirrels that can read signs! Can they teach people to do the same?

The reports are coming in on the Ohio birds listserv: Magee Marsh is hopping! Mary Warren reports 24 species of warblers yesterday, plus many other great birds. Kenn Kaufman confirmed 27 warblers on the boardwalk and all 6 vireo species, including Philadelphia, plus all 5 thrushes.

They are banding 7 days a week at Black Swamp Bird Observatory and according to Kimm Kaufman, banded 800 birds on Tues alone! Woot!!

I'm so jealous of your trip. I would love to go, but having birded in WVa all last week and going to Mohican next weekend, I guess I have to squeeze in some work-work and some yard- and house-work this week.

Have a wonderful time! (As if there is any other kind of time at Magee Marsh in May.)


nina said...

Hey, CNC--that's my favorite place to get out to, too! In fact, my daughters (now grown and out of the area) are visiting for Mother's Day, and asked where I'd like to go.
What could be a more perfect day than to share the outdoors with family at such a lovely place?
I agree with you about people's desire to feed the animals--I think they desire it more for their own pleasure than the animals' benefit!

Lynne said...

The world is full of twits, but at least she quit feeding the bread. Is this your trip weekend all ready? Have gobs of fun!!

Mary said...

A long time ago when Gina was a toddler, we took a bag of bread to the pond and fed the geese. I don't recall a sign but we sure got it from a pissed-off goose! The darn thing tried to un-zip Gina's jacket and pierce her ear. I couldn't get the stroller moving quick enough. That was the end of the bread.

mon@rch said...

Filling up your memory happens to all of us! I have an external harddrive to move my files over to easily! BTW: Love the Great-crested Flycatcher, I have yet to see one this year!