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Today was fine...it got super hot in the afternoon. We nest-searched, but only for like half an hour. We really gotta nest-search more. I guess Jen is not happy that there are still some fields that we haven't even STARTED nest-searching yet. I dunno; that's just what Erica said. Cassandra really didn't even want to nest-search today, since we had to come home and do invert sorting anyhow. But we decided we would. AFter all, as ERica said to me quietly, that's what we signed up to do....So we nest-searched for like half an hour. Cassandra found one nest, a Red-winged Blackbird nest.

So what I really need to write about today is this. One of the RW Blackbird nests that I checked today had three fuzzy little scrawny pink chickies in it!!! I was so excited. Later, Erica found nestlings in another nest as well. Later, back at home, Jen said something about how they were gonna die. I was like, "what?"
She told me that the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) are going to mow that one field tomorrow because of the thistles. So the little chickies are going to get mowed.....I can't stand to think of their tiny pink bodies, so vulnerable, getting killed. I guess the thing is that if the DNR lets the thistles keep growing, then they'll grow so tall that the Redwings won't even want to nest there. So it's lose a few, save many......it reminded me of the "greater good" that young Dumbledore and Grindelwald talked about in Harry Potter 7. :( It also reminded me of how, in Maine, we used an herbicide on the roots of bittersweet and purple loosestrife in order to keep them in check. Some people didn't agree with the use of herbicides. But these non-native plants were literally pulling down old apple trees in the heronry, where ibises, herons, and egrets nested. Again, it was choosing the lesser of the two evils.

But I still hate to think of the poor tiny little nestlings, awaiting their fate as the female beds them down for the night..... gosh.

Gotta write about something else.

I went to the store today. I needed milk, and some other necessities. First I went to Pamida, which is a drugstore chain. When you walk in the door, a sign greets you and displays a photograph of the store manager, Steve Something-or-other. Well, I have been in that store about three times, and each time, he is at the cash register!! It's weird because I hardly ever see the managers of stores back home, out and about in the store. Just interesting. I was also wanting post cards, and so I checked Pamida, Alco (which is just a few stores away from Pamida; it's practically the same thing, and they're so close together; it's odd), and Hallmark, but none of them had postcards. I'm gonna get some over the next few days. Should be interesting....I mean, what will it have on it? A cornfield and then "Scenic Iowa" scrawled across the front in neon orange writing? haha

Oh, I forgot to talk about Molly. Molly is Jen's little dog. I forget what type she is, but she's super small. Now, in general, I am not a big fan of small dogs. However, I make exceptions. Molly is one of those exceptions. She is kind of ridiculous looking, with fluffy little ears that stick up like pigtails on top of her head. She is only here for about two weeks; Jen's husband is going out of town, so Jen took her. Molly's favorite thing to do in this house is lick the walls. Yes, really. It's so gross. But this house is kind of gross in general....I can't imagine the kinds of things that could be lurking on the walls. So tonight, Cassandra was on the phone with her airline, after being on hold for like twenty minutes. We were eating dinner in the living room, and Jen called out at Molly, "Molly, stop licking the walls!"
And Erica pointed out how funny that would sound to the person on the other end of the line....ha!

Anyhow, today was my first day doing a transect survey on my own. I did pretty well. Unfortunately I took forever. Cassandra came and waited for me for like 45 minutes while I finished the 2nd field. I think it's partly because I birded in between transects (gosh, I feel so guilty writing that!! I didn't really bird THAT much, just, when I saw a bird perched on the tree, I'd look at it; that's all; and that wasn't that often, either), and partly because I'm new to the whole thing; like I said, this was the first time I had done it alone.

Well, I think that's enough semicolons for now.......

Here's to a Henslow's Sparrow tomorrow!!! I saw a Clay-colored Sparrow, and two male Dickcissels, today. :)

OH! I forgot to say this: I drove the Explorer this afternoon to the store, and was searching for Air1, or a similar radio station, and I found a great one! And on the way back home, they played Switchfoot! Horray!!