First quarter moon, January 1, 2012

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The last day of 2011 was beautiful here in south Florida. Started off cool (chilly, even), but warmed nicely throughout the day. Since it was the first Saturday after Christmas, I was out in the field on the West Palm Beach Christmas Bird Count, and the weather proved mildly conducive to the birds we were seeking; a morning’s work yielded 50 species in some pretty marginal habitat. I’ll have more on the bird count later.

I spent the afternoon at the beach with Eric, who decided that a dead-tired-from-birding Daddy had no excuse not to take him, and I’m glad [...]

More fish stories

In an update to yesterday’s adventure to FWC’s non native fish research center at FAU, I did a bit more digging and found some nice informati0n on no native species in Florida here, at FWC’s site. Still nothing about the research facility on Spanish River Blvd. here in Boca, but at least we found out what kind of fish Eric caught yesterday: the walking catfish, Clarias batrachus. When it was first discovered here, there were fears of this fish taking over the ecosystem, excluding native fish and generally causing an ecological catastrophe. This was fueled in part by their sensational [...]

Gone fishin’

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This morning our across-the-street neighbor came over and told us that the fish farm over at the local university was having their annual open house. So Eric and I piled into the van and drove on over to check it out. Sure enough, the FWC’s FAU Fish Research Center (which normally keeps a very low profile: go ahead, I dare you to find mention of it on the web somewhere–please send it to me if/when you do!) had a big sign out, the gate was open, and the parking lot was full. They had tanks set up inside with fish [...]

Busy month

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Over the course of about ten days this month, we:

moved to a new house began potty training our only son brought a new son into the world (thus rendering the wording of the previous item obsolete)

I guess when you boil it down like that, it doesn’t sound like very much. But when you’ve lived through the clutter and jumble of a move, the clutter and jumble of accidents, and the midnight to three a.m. feedings, it seems like a pretty darn full month, indeed.

Updating addresses with banks, credit card companies, the DMV, phone, cable, etc. providers. Trying [...]

Saturday morning at the park

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It’s the tail end of migration down here in south Florida, so naturally I went to Spanish River Park: the best birding park in all of Boca Raton, and one of the best in the entire area, for a bit of relaxation. However, I left my binoculars at home. This, after all, was not a birding trip, but a way to burn off some energy outdoors until other members of the household could join us at a more civilized hour for, say, breakfast. So, to pass the time, Eric and I found a playground. I think he had fun, don’t [...]

Say cheese!

So much of how we live our lives is full of conventions that we’ve almost forgotten to be conventions. We were at the playground of Sugar Sand park recently and mommy wanted a picture of little e, who was engrossed in play with his digger. So she said “say cheese!” Eric complied, but not in quite the way she’d expected. Without looking up or even breaking his bulldozer-operating stride, he said “cheese” and that was that.

Amazing the things we can learn, isn’t it?

Eventually we may even be able to post the pictures we got…

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When life gives you puddles...

Go puddle jumping!

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Playground at the beach

One nice thing about being a resident of Boca Raton is that the beach parks are superb. They have playgrounds, trash service, parking–all for a mere $30 or so per year. (Don’t forget your beach permit, though–it costs $18 for one day in the parking lot if you don’t have the sticker!)

Eric and I spent some there this weekend while Mommy was away in the Big Easy:

Note the bus and train engine clutched in the hands–they slide down the plastic slide much better than a toddler, actually, since they have wheels and playground slides have enormous stiction to [...]

Parallel worlds

There aren’t very strong geologic, climatologic, zoologic or botanic parallels between my two “home” states of Florida and California. True, both states have endemic scrub-jay populations (the Santa Cruz island scrub-jay and the Florida scrub-jay), and many of the plants and animals of Florida’s “ancient islands” (scrub habitat) have western affinities, but beyond that, there’s not a whole lot linking the two places.

Oh, sure, there are some superficial parallels. I mean, when I was going to grad school at UCLA, I rode my bike through palm tree–lined streets, dodging expensive cars, with the sights and sounds of the ocean [...]

Christmas party

Our neighbors across the street threw a Christmas party last night, and as luck would have it, it was one of the rainiest afternoon/evenings in recent memory. The streets were flooded, and I really regret not having been able to mow the lawn before the rain started…

But, luck tends to even out. This morning dawned bright and beautiful, and since Eric wouldn’t let me sleep, I decided to take him outside to enjoy the morning as only he knows how: splashing through puddles! (Last night as we went home from the party he spent about 5 minutes stomping through [...]