Tomorrow Don joins me for a 2 day birding winter birding spree. This is an annual gig - we call the Great Crane Chase. This all started around ten years ago because Don wanted to visit the Central Valley to see his first ever Sandhill Crane. I told him that would no challenge at all; just leave the crane finding to me.
So Don showed up with his his daughter Rose, who was just a pre-teen then; a cranky one that didn't appreaciate being stuffed in a car to spend an entire stupid day looking at stupid birds. Anyway, Rose and my dog Chiquilla curled up in the back of the stupid car, with looks of extreme disapproval on both their faces. Off we went, up one side of the central valley and down the next, searcing for stupid cranes in the stupid Graylodge Wildlife Refuge, but we had no stupid luck. OK, I got excited over a stupid skunk, marching stupidly drunkenly along the side of the road, but that didn't count (hum... I seem to be channeling Rose here).
Finally, I spotted our target – I pulled the car over and proudly pointed the birds in a field and, as I’m apt to do, I started lecturing on the magnificence and beauty that is the Sandhill Crane. At some point in my pontification, I noticed Don, Rose, and Chiquilla were all staring at me. I took a second look at the Sandhill Cranes… my ‘magnificent cranes’ were plywood cutouts, painted over to deceive nincompoops like yours truly. *sigh*