Part Two, of the Number Two

Updated: Oct 30, 2019

In my previous post, I told you the “forgotten TP” moment of my first Christmas Bird Count. We now continue this thrilling story! (Flocking Edit: Okay, thrilling might be the wrong word...)

If you read Part I, you know my base layer for my torso has been lost. If you don't know where it went, follow the link above (RIP). The day was getting colder, but the count continued, no matter the weather! Doc and I loaded back into the Taurus and burned off towards 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. 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’s all you need to know.

Back to the dam.

Immature Bald Eagle hunting for ducks

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 minutes checking for rarities. It was during this extra time that the story comes to a crescendo! The wind grew bitter and picked up speed while we stood unobstructed from its bite. As the temperature plummeted from a winter front bearing down, Doc grew 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. (Flocking Edit: We really could have opened our thesaurus for a better word.) While an easily distracted person might have soon realized 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, and everything but the waterfowl below. It was during this daydreaming that I noticed Doc’s pant was flapping in the wind. Not in a typical manner. The pant had ripped from the bottom all the way up to the groin. The entire back-side of his leg was exposed to this biting wind, and he had yet to notice. I had no intention of interrupting his scoping efforts, but after a few more minutes of grumbling, I was forced to speak up. “Doc, your pants are ripped all the way up!” More colorful language occurred while we attempted to sleuth out the culprit of the rip, 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 needle and thread insight, we found the one sticky product that fixes all. The silver ribbon of glory that brings grown men to tears. The roll of hope, only held in slightly lower regard than 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!

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To read Part III, click here.


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