Thursday, May 26, 2005

It's good to be back home. I guess we're not home. We're on vacation. But this is good, too. My younger brother gets married this weekend to a girl tht I've only recently really gotten to know, who seems actually quite cool. I'm excited to add her to my list of siblings. Her name, incidently, is also Laura. It's a good thing I gave up my maiden name last year, because she is now picking it up as her married name. It's a little rough on the neices, who now have to get used to "Aunt Laura" and "Auntie Laurie" to differentiate (I'm Laurie) but otherwise things are going well. :) In typical MN fashion, Monday was beautiful, yesterday was cold and rainy, and today is sunny and just the right amount of cool. It's nice. Spring is done where we flew from, so to come back up to spring is nice. Light green leaves, newly out...

It's pretty.

I like vacation.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

One Year Finished

So I finished my first year of grad school. I received my grades today from all of my classes, and I passed them all. This is good news. Now I can relax for a bit before studying for qualifying exams in August.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

May I Pray For A Bird?

Last week a miracle was reported, which I am sure has made many people (in addition to me) want to take a vacation in the swamps of Arkansas. Scientists documented multiple sightings of an Ivory Billed Woodpecker. The biggest woodpecker found in North America, the Ivory Bill has not been officially sighted since 1944, and was thought to be extinct. On a personal note I became very sad when I opened my new Sibley Guide to Birds, to find that the Ivory Bill was not even listed. To me this was a sure sign that I would never see one, a very sad realization for someone who had read the caption about the Ivory Bill countless times in the National Geographic Field Guide to Birds of North America as a child.

Now my dream is still alive. For those of you who have not memorized your bird book, I have included some pictures of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker:

Now I am afraid that they have found the bird, but will not be able to keep it alive. If this is the last bird, or one of only a couple of old birds (max age is roughly 15 years) then we may have found this animal only to lose it again. Thus I pray for a bird. And for my sake, you can pray too.

For articles about this discovery (and the source of these shamelessly copied pictures) see the following New York Times Articles: May 3rd April 28th.

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