YAAY! Today there was birding, and it was good!

Wound up at the beachfront of Lake Ontario, and it was colder than the hind end of hell–brisk wind, gusts up to 50kmph, I’m told–but oh, the waterfowl! Mute swans, canvasbacks, long-tailed ducks, more lesser scaups, bufflehead, grebes, black scoter, red-breasted merganser–apparently a lot of stuff overwinters on Lake Ontario. It was AWESOME.

After awhile Graydon, who is actually made of iron and Goretex rather than flesh, said, “I will admit that I am getting cold.”

“Mmmm,” I said. “Yeah.”

“It’s a long walk back.”

“Right. We should get going…”


“Hmmm? Oh….Should probably put my binoculars down, huh?”

“That would probably be best, yes.” *

Apparently it had been over an hour, in the wind, and I was wearing gloves that I had chosen for their rather snazzy shade of purple rather than their insulating capacity. (I thought it had been about twenty minutes. Possibly I get a titch obsessive when waterfowl are on parade.) I was very cold. I am not sure if “cold” even does it justice, or if I was experiencing whatever lies on the far side. But I got a whole slew of lifers, have completed the merganser set, and it was AWESOME.

And in my next life, I am sooooo coming back as a male long-tailed duck. They are possibly the coolest looking birds I have ever seen. (Go! Google them! I’m not gonna link because we tend to crash sites.) And there was a whole flock! And they were beauuuutiful!

And then we went home, and the Toronto subways have ads for gay dating services in the subway, which is damn enlightened of them, and I was sufficiently pleased by that and all the birds that I didn’t even mind the bus ride that was so packed I felt like I needed an STD test by the time I disembarked.

Put that camera away, Graydon, or I swear I’m going to eat it.

Mute swans know they’re cool.

(Graydon titled this one “Pink Ninja assailed by doubt” and I cannot improve upon the description.)

Tomorrow, home to North Carolina! I have thoroughly enjoyed Toronto, it’s a really awesome city, one of the best I’ve ever been in, and I hope to return some day…when my credit cards are less likely to catch fire…but it’ll be nice to be home as well.

*This is a man who brought 50 feet of rope along in his backpack, in case I got overenthusiastic after a bird and plunged into rotten ice.  As anybody who knows my birding habits will admit, this was a very good idea, I just found it funny as hell.

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