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We've had another early snow storm, prompting me to mostly curl up at home and re-read Patricia Briggs books. But on Monday, during the hours before the snow, my friends and I went out on a search for cranes and geese. We were partially successful.
There are geese out on the spit, trust me!
Our first flock of Snow Geese, west of my home town
Snow Geese with Greater White Fronted Geese in the foreground
One blue phase Snow Goose in the flock
Farmers were busy with machinery like this swather, getting as much done as possible before the snow flew.
Our second flock of Snow Geese, north of Acme
Just resting in the stubble, preparing for the next stage of migration
A few Tundra Swans on a slough east of Irricana
A hen pheasant peeks at us from the long grass in the ditch.
No cranes, but it was nice to get in a day of birding before the snow.
Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian Booklikes friends!
A trail of murder leads Domenic Jejeune across a vast continent.
Newly estranged from his girlfriend, Inspector Domenic Jejeune returns to Canada, where he soon receives news that his brother has gone missing in Wood Buffalo National Park while conducting field research on Whooping Cranes. Jejeune immediately heads out West to try to find him.
Meanwhile, back in the U.K., Jejeune’s plan to protect his ex-girlfriend from a dangerous adversary has failed, and she has also gone missing. In Jejeune’s absence, it falls to his trusty sergeant, Danny Maik, to track her down. But there is far more to the situation than either of them anticipated. And time is running out for all of them.
Well, this book was a treat--I had a volunteer job long ago where I exercised Whooping Crane chicks, which were subsequently released to the wild in Florida. I spent many hours doing what I came to call my walking meditation, wearing a baggy white costume which covered my head and interacting with the chicks using a hand puppet. Left to their own devices, the chicks would linger by the food bowl and grow so fast that their long toes would curl. My job was to convince them to go walking with me, wearing off some calories and keeping their limbs and toes nice & straight. It could often be hot, boring work, but I considered it my personal National Geographic moment and thoroughly enjoyed my time there.
I have also visited Wood Buffalo National Park, where Domenic Jejune ends up in this installment of the birder murder mysteries. My time was spent merely on the safe periphery, rather than out in the muskeg, where Jejune seeks his brother, but it is a large, lonely land and the bugs are out of this world! Between mosquitoes and black flies, my friend and I came to regret that we were camping!
I enjoyed the book very much, despite the pattern that seems to be developing of Inspector Jejune nearly dying in each story. His investigations take him into wilderness and the associated risks of those locations can support this plot device to some extent, but I hope there aren’t any near-death experiences in the next book.
That is, I’m assuming there will be a next book, as Mr. Burrows seems to have left us with enough unanswered questions about the general story arc to require another volume!
What is more fun that watching bird babies? Watching one trying to swallow a very large fish:
The youngster begged until mom handed over the fish
Then the struggle began in earnest
But he's not giving up!
It's not too big, dammit!
Success! It's neck was really thick for a while, though, until the fish was finally deposited in the belly.
OMG, I love birds!