So, yeah. I guess I continue my 2013 trend as a major blog slacker. I'm guessing there's exactly one person who cares. Sorry, Mom.
May is by far my least favorite month of the year. With all kinds of major projects at work and all kinds of school projects and events it is a crazy time of constant obligations. However, it's also a great month thanks to the amazing weather and the even more amazing birds. I've still been working out an hour every morning and it stinks how much that cuts into my writing and reading the newspaper time. I've been getting the daily paper since I moved out on my own and this is the first time I can remember that I've regularly gone days without even glancing at the headlines. I'm considering canceling my subscription. Gasp! Okay, enough of this boring crap.
Since sometime last semester, I've been in an unofficial daily "race" to school with Kaylin's friend Kira's mom, Lisa. The girls need to be at school at 7:23am, so we leave at about the same time every day. At first, we just sort of noticed that we usually saw each other. Then we realized that Kira's mom almost always passed my putzy little Toyota. One day Lisa tried to pass me (probably not personal, just trying to get to school) and got stuck behind a slow car. I joked that we "won" and Kaylin bragged to Kira. Kira's very competitive and the daily commute turned into a race, with Kira begging her mom to pass me and win. Well, I don't know much about cars, but I know my little Yaris isn't going to beat out a luxury car with dual exhaust pipes. I won't pretend to know or care what dual exhaust pipes do, but I'm guessing they somehow go along with a big, fast engine.
I've spent months and months giggling every day as Kira's mom zips past us. Once in a great while we win and celebrate and rub it in to Kira. Lisa and I gesture to each other (like holding up the number one finger or waving victoriously, never anything vulgar :) When we talk, she almost always apologizes for the competition because aside from the whole thing being incredibly juvenile, she knows she has the major advantage. I don't feel bad at all about losing this impossible competition and our rare wins make it fun. Kaylin also enjoys the occasional win and isn't at all bothered by the regular losses. Logan, on the other hand... He couldn't comprehend why I was "letting" Lisa win every day. I kept telling him her car was better, but I guess with two parents who don't care a hoot about cars, he just didn't understand. He kept telling me I just needed to floor it.
Today the stars aligned and we got our opportunity to really race. We zipped past Kira's house as Kira and Lisa were getting into their car and then hit the long red light at Knoxville. We then hit the light at Pioneer Parkway just as it turned red. Lisa and I were side by side, first in line at the light. We opened our windows to talk and I told her about Logan wanting me to floor it and win for once, but I knew that wouldn't work. We laughed and chatted and I noticed the light turned green a split second before Lisa. I floored it. We sorta slowly took off and I got to see Lisa's shocked expression in my mirror. She jumped into action and easily passed me within seconds and of course beat us to school. Logan finally understood the difference between our cars. "Yeah, Mom, your car is crap." True, but I bet I get a lot better gas mileage. Lesson for the day: Gas mileage is not impressive to 10-year-old boys- speed is. Beepy (that's my car's name) is lame!
I've been doing lots of birding. Meghan and I did the Peoria County Audubon spring bird count last Saturday. I was a little freaked out because the other teams were a bunch of old pros. Our territory was the entire city of Peoria along with Bartonville. We started ~7am and birded until 7pm. I also watched my feeders for about an hour before and after. We concentrated on the major parks and nature areas (rather than randomly driving up and down streets in town) and ended up with 73 species and over 1200 individual birds. I found 19 year birds, several of which were lifers. I still need to go back and look at what I recorded last year to get an exact number. We saw 13 different warbler species, scarlet tanagers, orioles and a variety of other beautiful birds. We picked up Logan to try to call owls at Detweiller Park, but it was a bit early in the evening and they didn't answer. At Detweiller Golf Course, nearly every tree had at least 5 yellow-rumped warblers. It was a fun, amazing day and I want to do it again!