March 13, 2010 @ 2:26 pm | Filed under: , , , ,

• Rose has taken a shine to the Handbook of Nature Study. Mind you, this is a book I have lunged for on a regular basis throughout her entire life, but this week after we read about crows in it, it was like she discovered it for the first time. I found out the next morning that she took it to bed with her and stayed up late reading about turtles and chipmunks. All day yesterday, she was reading me interesting tidbits about squirrels. And she pointed out that while it would certainly be handy to have an iPod-sized edition to carry around with us, she “wouldn’t have been able to flip through it and find random bits of interest.” Nor, she added as an afterthought, “curl up in bed with it.” She has a point there.

• Remember when the alligator lizard scared the pants off my husband? Yesterday was my turn. I picked up an old plastic pot from the side yard and saw some sidewalk chalk inside. Reached in for the chalk and the pot started violently shaking in my hand—something under the chalk scrabbling around and around. Yes, I screamed. And dropped the pot. And watched the lizard scurry into the grass. And hollered for the kids to come quick before it disappeared. And pretended to be all calm and cool and nature-mama. And lost a year off my life, I’m sure.

Lark Rise to Candleford update: We’re a little behind. I didn’t much care for the Harvest Festival episode, the one with the plot about the constable and Pearl (not to give too much away). Didn’t buy it. But—I think this was the same episode—I loved the scene in which Alf respectfully, ruefully tells Robert Timmins why he wants to be a farmer. Loved the warm gleam in Robert’s eye as he recognized a fellow craftsman’s passion for his work, the work he is meant to be doing. But then, I just plain love the character of Robert Timmins, period. Possibly because he is a lot like my husband. Blunt, outspoken, humorous, tender, mercurial, passionate about his craft and his family. Yeah. I know that guy.

• I scored 167 points on a single word—corncrib—in Words With Friends. (Scrabble-like app for the iPod Touch.) I’m just saying. EVERYWHERE I POSSIBLY CAN.

• The crows are discarding their empty peanut shells in our birdbath. Ingrates.

• I may actually have to start a whole blog category here for crows. What’s geekier: that or bragging about a Scrabble word score?

• You don’t really have to answer that.

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10 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Jennifer says:

    We run hot and cold on the Handbook of NS as well. It’s so great once we actually open it, but for too long it sits on the shelf.

  2. MFS says:

    Big crow fans here, too:

    If you haven’t read it already, check out Crow Planet (Lyanda Lynn Haupt) and (my favorite) Caw of the Wild (Barb Kirpluk).

    By the way, Did you know that Pollock had a pet crow? Ever since the Misses and I discovered that we have harbored a not-so-secret desire to have one of our own… not that “our” crows would be so foolhardy as to leave one of their young alone. Still, we call to them (purchased crow calls to that end) and giggle delightedly when they respond. We can hope, I guess; we can hope.

    They like meatballs, too, by the way, not just nuts.

    Best regards.


  3. yvonne says:

    This is a charming post, loved the parts about the crows and the lizards. My kids visit your blog with me. My 8 year old is always asking to go to the “nature blog” to see if there are any new flowers or cirtters posted.
    P.S. Just ran across, at a library book sale, The Letters of James Thurber–so wonderful to read his letters to E. B. White. And the cartoons, ah simplistic wonderfulness.

  4. Joy says:

    You can also take Handbook of Nature Study on a turtle-catching trip around the lake in a canoe…not recommended with the ipod!

  5. Penny in VT says:

    167 points? Wowzers!

    And I agree with Rose 100%. Give me a REAL book any day…

  6. Kathryn says:

    I don’t remember the Harvest Festival episode – will now be racking my brains trying! I like the character of Robert Timmins in the show, but his accent bugs me terribly. I’m not sure what it is meant to be, but it comes out sounding sort of Irish-gone-wrong. A realistic accent would be something like this: or this: (I think the speaker in this one may be my grandmother’s uncle). And sadly, the real Robert Timmins was nothing like his TV counterpart. As time went on he worked less and drank more, until he finally drank his family into poverty.

  7. Jennifer says:

    I thought I was being brave last year when we had a flying squirrel in our basement. While recounting the experience on the phone with my sister I told her that yes I did jump on top of the washing machine, but that I did not scream. To which all my kids shouted “yes you did!” Oops. hadn’t even realized it.

    So, while you were trying to be calm, I bet they saw right through it. Things like that scare me to death! Better you than me!

  8. Hannah says:

    Speaking of Words with Friends, a friend of mine who plays that game addictively with her family members is working on designing an iTouch/iPhone app in a similar style that’s all about Jane Austen book trivia! I’ll let you know when it’s published.