I am sitting here in my rocking chair by the wood stove with a cat in my lap, another one on my shoulders. The third cat tried to get on my lap, but since Frisky takes up most of my lap space that was not possible.
I like it when holidays fall on Sundays, because that means I get the following Monday off work. Whatever observance of the holiday is behind me, and I get a "bonus" day to relax and regroup before getting back into the normal routine.
A week ago I spent my Monday holiday doing what has become a tradition for me: the Pine County Christmas Bird Count. It was the warmest count day ever, with temperatures in the 40's, and with the lack of snow it felt more like late October than the day after Christmas. There were also strong winds, which made birding more challenging. Nonetheless, my group came up with 24 species, including a rare treat for this area: a golden eagle! Bald eagles are fairly common around here, even throughout the winter now, but I had never positively identified a golden eagle in this area. Even the expert birders I was with had to consult their field guides, and they ended up having a lengthy discussion about what features distinguished it from a dark morph rough legged hawk. In the end the wind helped them make the distinction. Since a golden eagle is considerably heavier than a rough legged hawk, its flight is less buoyant. A rough legged hawk would have hovered more and soared more lightly in the wind. It was a good learning experience for me: good birders never assume anything and consider all the details.
This Monday holiday will be a bit more home-based. I will finish cutting up the turkey we had last night, maybe making a soup from the leftovers. Maybe I will finally make the time to play music, like I keep telling myself I will. At least I've already blogged, which is more than I can say for most days last year!