Field Guides

So, I’ve always liked writing, but I never thought I’d try my hand at writing a “field guide.” At work we’re working on cataloging every specimen, egg, pelt, feather, etc that is in a room used for weekend education activities. I call it the “Weekend Wonders” room, but really it’s “Lab A,” or something like that. Reid and I are going through everything by “category:” birds, dinos/fossils/ancient stuff, mammals, ocean stuff, reptiles/amphibians, rocks/plants.

I’ve worked my way through the birds, being sure to cite my sources and include range maps for everything. I thought it’d be pretty easy, and boring, having taken Vertebrate Natural History…but lo and behold, I learned the coolest stuff!
Did you know that there are actually three species of peafowl?? Peafowl is the correct term for the entire species, male and female. Don’t laugh, I’m about to cite Wikipedia (which, I promise, I did refrain from citing in the guide). We have the Congo Peafowl ( found in Africa, the India Peafowl, which is characterized by a blue chest (, and the Javan Peafowl, which is not coffee colored like I’d hoped, but is characterized by a green chest ( Sweet. There are three species of peafowl! Not to mention all the colors people choose to breed into the birds (including…PURPLE!).
Did you also know that Indigo Buntings have different songs according to where they’re from geographically? And that they defend their territory from Indigo Buntings with different dialects? We’re not that different…we have accents, and some might even say we’re defensive toward people from different parts of the country (c’mon Southerners…think about all those Yankee jokes…and vice versa). Weird.
Anyways, I wish I had Microsoft Publisher on my laptop so I could work on it in my spare time…that’s how much fun I’m having with this project!
Besides that, nothing much is new. We’re watching the first Harry Potter movie and I’m reminded of how much I like this one. In this movie, Hogwarts is such a novelty, the thrill of magic is so new for Harry and all the rest, that it takes me back to when the series was new to all of us. I’m excited for the conclusion coming up soon, though I have to say I am also excited for it to be finally finished. The newness and excitement has worn off, eight movies over the course of several years will do that to anyone. Although, I will say, I look forward to reading these books with my kids one day, when they become old enough, as my parents did with me. There are many valuable lessons to be learned in these books, lessons even Muggles can learn. My favorites, and always relevant, will always remain: “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” And, to paraphrase “There comes a time when we must choose between what is right and what is easy.” Oh, and by the way, I’m pretty sure all those were said by Dumbledore. ‘Cuz he’s awesome.
That is all.

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