Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Birding--Bad for the Health

Head entombed in pillows, torso mummified in blankets, I was well along in the process of falling asleep. A dark haze swirled over my mind. The peaceful hum of traffic and the muffled booms of Disneyland fireworks ten miles distant lulled me into unconsciousness, an unorthodox yet soothing lullaby.


A Barn Owl shrieked a challenge to muggy night. Barn Owl vocalizations are diametrically opposed to lullabies—sharp, startling, scary. I jerked awake and glanced at my watch. Ten o’clock. I made a mental note to register this impolite owl into eBird first thing in the morning.

eBird has been the ruin of my life. I can’t even sleep without being dogged with the obsessive urge to enter checklist after checklist.

Fortunately, a simple solution exists, and, rising on an elbow from my pillows, I reached for it on the nightstand: a pair of earplugs. Nothing but the most raucous mockingbird shouting from my windowsill could disturb my slumber now. I sighed and sank back into my nest of pillows and blankets. Sleep followed quickly.

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