Dobry wieczór, dear readers.
Today’s post will, again, be more along the lines of a journal entry than an informative one, so if reading my super-secret diary isn’t your cup of tea, don’t feel bad about skipping this one.
The day started with trips to patient advocates; these are the lovely people who basically represent the patients and try to get the best deal they can for them. I had the good fortune to meet two very kind people today, Dave and Teresa, and they both exerted a lot of effort for me. I gave them my sob story about my missed neuro appointment, and they managed to move heaven and earth to get me to see someone in neurology tomorrow. Initially, it was told to me that there was no way that I’d get in before July 27th, and as an international patient, that’s effectively saying that there’s no way I’m getting an appointment. Thankfully, Mayo stepped up and rectified its mistake, so I’m very happy!
I had another appointment today (which was fairly useless and unnecessary in retrospect), and afterwards spent some time hanging out as a checker patient for the fibromyalgia clinic. While waiting, we amused ourselves by taking pictures. To clarify for the pictures to follow, the device on Dad’s ear is a pager they give you to call you up for appointments. After about 1:00 though, it was determined that there was no chance to survive make my time, so Dad and I went to eat and then went on an ADVENTURE!
Quarry Hill Nature Centre is an incredible gem that I discovered on the intertoobs, and a great source of adventure when one desires it. As you may have guessed, I get a little bit excited about seeing birds and wildlife, so when I heard that it’s the best place for birding in Olmsted County in the summer, I was obsessed. It didn’t let us down!! Barely 3 minutes into our walk, a gorgeous male Northern Cardinal flew right by us, showing off. Shortly after, a Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker flew onto a tree above us and actually stopped to pose for a picture! It’s on my Dad’s camera, so I can’t show you now, but I’ll upload pictures from today some other time. We saw many other birds (complete list below), and an abundance of small furry woodland creatures. In addition, we saw some large, terrifyingly menacing “squirrels”, that were hogging all the bird food in the feeders. They were too fat to hop like regular adorable squirrels, so they actually paced along like they were some sort of fat jungle cat.
In addition to lovely trails through thick foliage and open plains areas, a large pond and ramped bridge, there was an interpretive centre. It was extremely nifty in that it had many large tanks holding huge native fish and reptiles, including short-nosed gar, alligator (as well as regular) snapping turtle, tiger salamander, channel catfish, the list goes on and on, there’s no way I’ll remember it all. What I remember very well are two adorable small birds that I managed to get half-decent pictures of!
All in all, the bird count was: Dark-Eyed Junco M, Northern Cardinal M, Goldfinch F, White-breasted Nuthatch M, House Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, Ruby Throated Hummingbird, Blue Jay, Turkey Vultures. That’s right; remember how flaming excited I was when I saw one? Well today I saw a flock of at least 40! FLIPPED MY LID!
After a dinner of pancakes, Dad and I spent the whole evening looking at pictures from slides that were taken 60 years ago. It was a truly wonderful evening, and I’m looking forward to sleeping past 7:00 tomorrow for the first time in a week! WOO!