[Tweeters] I Discovered America

jeff gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Sun Oct 13 13:26:29 PDT 2013

Oh sure, now Columbus Day is a banker's holiday, but the actual day, historically is October 12th. I consider myself an expert on this date since it's my birthday.

" In Fourteen Hundred and Ninety- two, Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue!" was the little ditty many of us grew up with in grade school. Sort of a Happy Face sticker on the reality of the guy, who was either, based on his behavior in the "New World", a violent psychopath, or sociopath, take your pick. Basically he wasn't much more than a spearhead for another one of history's brutal "real" estate scams and resource rip-offs of what is now known as the USA, Canada, Mexico, and all of the the Central and South American political entities. Such deals are not uncommon in human history, and unfortunately, still ongoing.

So here we all are, hopefully learning better behavior.

I celebrated my birthday by getting some new binoculars at the Seattle Audubon Nature Shop. Wondering what to do next, I thought: " I'm gonna discover America!". And so I did.

The first thing I discovered in America was a lot of traffic on a Saturday morning. Driving north back to Everett, I spotted what seemed to be an inordinate number of Red-tailed Hawks soaring above the freeway, all being supervised by Crows. In Everett I saw one Turkey Vulture.

Unable to use my new binoculars while driving, I pulled off the freeway, and bopped down to one of my nearest favorite spots along the Snohomish River Road. With my new super-dooper close-focusing binoculars, I immediately started checking out all of the smallest, closest, things I could find. I spotted a number of late season grasshoppers, a brilliant Blue-bottle fly, and other bugs . I was even able to spot plankton (a copepod) in the nearby pond- a pretty small American, not that it would know or care.

One nice bright bug I watched was a Carrion Beetle. A largish beetle, it is an attractive glossy black with orange markings. They eat dead critters, a public service. I have found many of these in the past by flipping over dry cow-pies, the beetles hiding beneath. (helpful hint: don't try flipping un-dry cow-pies over - it's just too messy).

There weren't too many birds about, but I got some good looks at Song Sparrows and Red-winged Blackbirds!

Would history have turned out better if ol' Chris Columbus had been a naturalist? Maybe so. At any rate, I'm discovering American again today, and hopefully tomorrow too.

Jeff Gibson


Everett Wa, or wherever.

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