We now continue our heartfelt Christmas Bird Count Story about birds, love, and intestinal distress.
If you read Part 1, you know the base layer for my torso has been "lost." If you don't know where it went, follow this link.
Hot Dam! Cold Dam?
The day was getting colder, but the count continued, no matter the weather! Doc and I loaded back into the Taurus and burned off toward our next destination, Mozingo Lake. It was here we would get on top of the dam and scope the ducks found in the ice hole (grown men spend hours sitting on cold ice, "fishing," just so they can say ice hole, uninhibited). If you remember back to the last story, part of the adventure included racing over the sewage lagoon dikes (and finding a Black-legged Kittiwake). It was on one of these dikes we scrambled out, jumped a barbed wire fence, and flushed some Green-winged Teal. Why is this important? Barbwire is sharp. That is all you need to know for the moment.
Back to the dam.
From the dam, we watched a young Bald Eagle make many failed attempts at catching a duck dinner. The ducks were wise to this young bird’s awkward maneuvers. As the eagle kept making his feeble attempts, we counted multiple species; we also spent extra precious minutes checking for rarities. It was during this extra time that this delightful story comes to a magnificent crescendo!
Oh Winter, Where is Thy Sting
The wind grew bitter and picked up speed while we stood unobstructed from its vicious bite. The temperature plummeted as a winter front began bearing down upon us. Doc was growing uncomfortable. So uncomfortable, he lashed out at the weather with a
“$#%@, it just got cold!”
I edited the lead word out for our younger audiences, but it rhymes with 'dam.' I should have chosen a better word... While an easily distracted person might have soon realized the cause of the problem, Doc was focused on his quarry.
Being new to this procedure, I was less focused...
I let my gaze drift around the dam, the lake, the endless ice, and everything else in existence except the waterfowl below. It was during this daydreaming that I noticed a piece of khaki Docker's was flapping in the wind, and not in a typical manner. Doc's pants had ripped from his tennis shoes to his nether regions. Yikes!
Zach and The Order of the Adhesive
The entire back-side of his spry leg was exposed to this insatiable wind, and he had yet to notice. As the newbie, I had no intention of interrupting his scoping efforts, but after a few more minutes of his grumblings, I was forced to speak up.
“Doc, your pants are ripped all the way up!”
More colorful language ensued during our Sherlocking of the culprit, the barbwire fence. Doc, at 74, had jumped that fence with the ease of a 20-year-old. However, his pants were not as hardy as he was. They succumbed to the tiny prick of a metal wire, and they now were exposing him to the chill of winter. We were again in need of some adaptation (different from this adaptation). We had 2 hours left, and Doc needed pants that kept him warm.
With no tailors within earshot, we found the one sticky product that fixes all. The silver ribbon of glory that contractors worship and grown men shed tears for. A roll of hope that could only surpassed in its power of use by TP. Duct tape. We taped his pant leg back together in a fashion that only MacGyver would approve, and we continued on our dimming quest!