Back to the New Normal

Zion Turkey

Jay and Carl left yesterday, making me the baby again in this geriatric ward, but Anne’s conversation choices are now reduced again to , “What?”, “Huh?” and me. I got myself into a bit of a snit, when after formulating the best ever rendition of my “California” chicken salad, I discovered that we were out of bread. I had to wait until Harry back from the store for more bread. By dinnertime, I was over it though and helped Anne fix fish tacos for dinner. We also finished up the last of the hummingbird cupcakes for dessert. Continuing with this theme of eating, I fixed avocado toast for breakfast today. It being Saturday, Anne’s special day. Of course since I retired, every day is Saturday.

Anne and I had a very productive beach walk. We saw a willet, which is pretty rare around here, but not unheard of. At first we thought that it was a Spotted sandpiper, which is very common on the beach. Then we decided that it was a Solitary sandpiper, which is supposed to also be common around here, but we haven’t seen any. In the end, I decided that it was a willet, because none of those other birds have the distinctive white wing-bar that the willet has. I just couldn’t convince Anne of this, because Lake Superior is outside its normal range. All her research did elicit these different names for a group of sandpipers though: bind, contradiction, fling, hill and time-step.

In addition to seeing the bird, we saw a parade of sorts. This parade was sponsored by the Corps of Engineers. In its vanguard was a tug, the Bill Maier. It was towing not one, but two barges. The first barge had a huge crane on it, while the second one appeared empty. The pilot boat brought up the rear of this entourage. Usually, cranes and empty barges signify channel dredging, but at last report, via the marine App, the Maier has just rounded Whitefish point. This same App is no more help, because it lists its destination as Burns Harbor, IN.

Huevos were the walk’s final attraction. Thousands of huevos were washing up on the beach or so we thought. What we saw were clear, gelatinous, pea-sized globules. They looked like the tiny jellyfish that wash up on Florida beaches, but that could not be what we found here. Then we figured that they were fish eggs or maybe giant brain eating amoebas, but a search of the web determined that these so-called “goo balls” were actually the gelatinous mantle coverings of tiny zooplankton crustaceans called Holopedium gibberum. Adults of this species live inside this layer of goo for protection, with only their limbs sticking out for locomotion and for feeding on other plankton. As part of their natural life cycle, they shed their gelatinous mantle, which floats to shore for us to find. 

We saw this turkey in Zion. It was hanging around the Weeping Rock bus stop. It looks hot. It was a hot day. It was not particularly frightened by me or the other people who were watching it. I think that it was looking for a handout. I had already attached this photo to this post, before we saw any of the day’s sights. So, it will be a day or two, before their photos appear on this blog. Still, it was a pretty amazing beach walk. 

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