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Getting Outside


Progress of Spring: New Arrivals

categories: Cocktail Hour / Getting Outside

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Common Merganser pair

A wave of warm air from the south arrived yesterday, and with it a wave of birds.  In the last weeks they’ve come one by one–Bluebird, Red-Winged Blackbird, Grackle, Cowbird, Hooded Merganser, Mallard, Wood Duck.  But yesterday a whole crowd came at once: Belted Kingfisher, Common Merganser, White-Throated Sparrow, 1000 Robins, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Canada Goose and more.  Also, we spotted a fold fleck or two on the wings of a male Goldfinch (likely in celebration of Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer).  And enjoyed all the birds that stayed the winter, Chickadee chief among them.  The sump pump is running, the stream has broken out, the drifts are very slowly melting.

I still need snowshoes for the morning circuit, but today it was all fresh–a hard, cold rain, the stream nearly out of its banks with snowmelt, a beaver swimming the banks against the current, examining the stream-side vegetation, the woods full of birdsong.

 

 

Getting Outside Saturday: Happy Anniversary to Bill and Dave’s

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Bill and Dave in the early days.

Tomorrow, April 6, marks four years since our first post on Bill and Dave’s.  Four years!  I can hardly believe it.  Not that time passes so fast–in fact, it seems to crawl.  But that we’ve kept it up this long.  Post after post, image after image!  And all with no commercial intent, no advertising.  Except for ourselves, of course.  I put today’s post under the Getting Outside category because Bill and Dave’s was and remains a conscious effort to get outside the confines of the book, the page, the mores of traditional publishing, the dreams we’d had of what our writing lives would be like, and to find our way in the new reality, which is at least in part digital.  Well, we’re still lost, but it’s been a lot of work.  I mean fun.  We’ve attracted thousands of hits a week, sometimes thousands a day, and millions in four years.  Those first weeks we were excited to get fifty, then a hundred. Continue reading →

Getting Outside Saturday: Flying in Alaska

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Michael McBride

The throttle moves smoothly forward with the pressure from my left hand, as my right hand pulls the control stick back between my legs as far as it will go. The engine roars like a startled lion as it advances to twenty-three hundred rpm, and the floatplane lunges forward across the still surface of the remote mountain lake. Continue reading →

Bad Advice Christmas: Find Your Own Island

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Just got back from four days on Masonboro Island. Might have to spend all my holidays there…….Some pics…. Continue reading →

Getting Outside Saturday: That Time My Plane Almost Crashed

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Madeline Roorbach, Alive and Well in South Africa

You always wonder how you might react: calmly, a stony demeanor; screaming, rivulets of tears streaming down your face; praying, “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee…” There I sat, seat 21D—the aisle seat which is clutch for airplane travel—as smoke poured into the cabin through every vent onboard. I pushed the home button of my iPhone and saw that it was just before 2 p.m. CST. My hands were numb but I pushed the shortcut to my mom’s cell phone. No service at 30,000 feet. “Call me ASAP,” I wrote, and pushed send: Delivery Failure. Continue reading →