The woodpeckers really seem to like the hot pepper suet. Our local red-bellied woodpecker (which species does not appear have a red belly at all) has been hanging around it all morning. I also spotted another woodpecker, on the side of the house where the trees get thinner, a dark salmony creature with a very long bill, which my book identifies as a common flicker (presumably of the yellow-shafted race of common flickers, which are the only local ones. In the Southwest, they apparently have gilded flickers, which I think is a damn cool name, nevermind the bird.) I don’t know if he’s after the suet, or just happened to be in the area. When I went outside to dispose of the cat litter, there was a mass exodus of little feathery bodies into the bare trees, dozens of little birds, most of which I hadn’t seen until they took to the air. Things like that make me very glad to have moved to this particular house.

Having e-mailed all the various clients who needed/wanted/had work for me, I am left putting together Diggers until somebody gets back to me, which is fine by me–my buffer got seriously crunched in the move, and I need to get it back up into respectable numbers. Might even–god help me!–get a little painting in for no reason except that I want to paint, which is so bizarre a notion that the mind quails completely.

Still blocked on sculpture. Will let it lie for a few days. Finally managed to crack open “Temple of Elemental Evil” which has been fun so far, although I’m suffering the usual woes of a party just starting out–the town drunk’s a better fighter than my paladin, and a group of dire rats can take us to school and make us cry uncle, and of course the treasure doesn’t even begin to cover the price of healing. Plus the new edition rules screwed with multiclassing so that you can’t start anybody out as a fighter/cleric/mage/chicken, which means that the cleric and mage and thief, all terribly essential, are also all useless in a fight and forced to huddle behind the paladin. Who’s a halfling, because I was in one of those moods. And you only get five characters, so you can’t throw in another fighter to run cover. So, um…hmm, I’m complaining a lot, but I really am enjoying the game so far. Y’know how it is.

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