Week ending 4/18/2021

Back again! And still a bit late, but at least this time we have a Gmail/Chrome check-in. I’m sure you all missed it last week. :yum:

Chrome Tabs : 86 -> 87

Gmail Inbox : 73 -> 65 Unread, 78 -> 71 Total

I am now up to 5 caterpillars and 3 eggs waiting to hatch. The menagerie grows! And in other butterfly-related news, the butterfly workshop I mentioned a couple of weeks ago happened last weekend and went really well. We had about 15 attendees, which is not bad, and I actually learned a lot myself from the lead presenter Sal Levinson (who writes a great butterfly blog). My photos and videos were well received (wish I could have shown more, but it was already a 1.5hr workshop!). Thanks to my friend Alen of Plant Connection SF for the opportunity, and looking forward to more possibilities in the future!

I have been working on a “life timeline” now for some time, hoping to essentially summarize every month and year in my life (probably on a yearly basis the further back I go due to limitations of memory and documentation). The easiest place to start was with the present, and I am now finally done with 2020 and up to date in 2021. Now I can just maintain it each month, while hopefully delving into the past in smaller pieces over time. Eventually I hope to visualize all of these events and changes in my life, and even associate them with photos, notes, and other artifacts from that time…

I may have mentioned previously that I’m working to resolve some long-standing housing code issues on the property I grew up on out in Cazadero. It’s a complicated and challenging process, both because dealing with government is always complicated, and because I have a land partner to coordinate with (who is also my step-mom!). I’m about an hour and 45 minutes from the land, so it’s always a bit of a journey going up there, but it was important to have a face-to-face and get my house looked at by a contractor, which I was finally able to do this past week. It’s just a first step, but it’s good to have it out of the way and be taking concrete steps forward. In the meantime here’s a quick photo of the view from the cliff our houses are perched on out there.

In other, lower stakes but also dramatic news, a pair of birds nested in my jasmine vine that climbs the front porch of my house. They had laid 5 eggs, but just like last year, some other local critters took an unfriendly interest (i.e. “free meal!”). I would really love to have some baby birds finally make it here, but so far that doesn’t seem likely. But I did get to observe some really interesting behavior this past week.

A bluejay and then a raven attempted to eat some of the eggs, and succeeded in damaging one (later the rest disappeared, presumably all eaten). I chased them off, with the parent birds nearby chirping loudly. But there was also a crowd of other species of (non-predatory) birds perched around the nest area, many of them also chirping or otherwise agitated, including a hummingbird or two that were vocal and flying rapidly around. It was a fascinating example of apparent collective and cross-species support that I had never seen nor heard of before, and it happened right outside my office window! Afterward I also saw the male of the pair seeming to groom and perhaps even “comfort” the female (and I recognize I may be anthropomorphizing, of course…). Check out the shot below (male is on the right with the brighter colored chest) and let me know what you think is going on!

I got another awesome new tiki mug, but the first one I received came with some scuff marks. With awesome customer service from Tiki Land Trading Company I got a replacement and free return shipping within less than a week, and the replacement is flawless! Such a cool addition to my collection, I think. Every time I see it I can’t help thinking “Throw me the whip, I’ll throw you the idol!” :laughing:

Last but certainly not least, I got my first vaccine shot, woooo! Team Moderna (but really team take-what-you-can-get). :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

P.S. I’m considering switching to calling this more what it is: a public “journal”, and having an actual “now” page that is more what I am working on or hoping/planning to work on right now/in the coming week, etc. If you have any thoughts or preferences on the approach, let me know!