Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Yes I had egrets

one  of Shanna's senior photos

I framed some Italian photos recently for the hallway. First 2, Florence. Last: Verona
egrets, not herons though there is a blue heron in back

I framed some of the rough prints from the photo session... Someone had convinced me to have infrared film used. Really bad idea. All of these photos were unusable as the white of eyes appear black making Shanna look like the living dead. Leaves appear white. Fortunately some photos were taken with regular film to give the top framed photo.

Goliath came blasting through yesterday wreaking havoc with 8 hours of freezing rain and strong winds. Initial reports indicated it would be here by 9 am. To get a reasonable walk in (can't wait until I can run again), I started in the dark figuring if I would just stick to our sub, I should be safe as I could just jump into a lawn if a car appeared. Our sub is a huge open space with little to block the strong winds. Once it became light, off to the north-south road which a has very dense forest especially on the east side of the road perfect for blocking the due east winds.. I didn't want to go too far down it as I thought the storm could appear any moment. I stopped at the dead tree where I had previously spotted a red headed woodpecker. A woodpecker of some sort was only about 10 feet up on the trunk. All I could tell was that it was longer than the downies that show up every day now.  It played hide and seek. I would walk around the tree and it would go to the other side so all I could ever see was a black tail And they all have black tails. I got home well before the storm which was late in coming but did show up making things difficult.
Steve had gotten me a deluxe bird book as I had complained my Audubon guide was outdated (global warming). I've been studying it. About 3 years ago, suddenly egrets were all over the place. Our local pond always had 2 great blue heron and one resident egret. Now it had twenty egrets. Another pond visible only from the freeway had close to fifty egrets. But my new book claims that white variants of herons are often mistaken for egrets, which are supposed to be very rare this far north. It did give very detailed instructions how to tell one from the other. Fortunately I had photos of the local invasion of the presumed egrets (though the very good lens was not purchased until a few months after). They were egrets! (have black legs, not white. Do not have the long head feathers of herons). Up at the metro park, there is an island of dead trees full of heron and egret nests. During nesting season, many people are lined up with their scopes to observe this. Maybe they are white herons?
My squirrel proof cage alas is NOT squirrel proof. And there are 2 squirrels fighting each other for the chance to raid my feeders. Where is the red tail hawk when I need him (or her)? I did find it again right outside my bedroom window on the ground. As I rushed for the camera, it was gone.
So having the roads covered in ice shouldn't impact us as technically we have no where to go, right? Naomi is supposed to be feeding my friend's animals twice a day 6 miles away. As she has Maya now, it would be exceedingly dangerous for her to take the hilly, windy country road she takes to go there. I fretted about that. I wish my friend had a back-up plan for when the roads are impassable as this could happen in the very long time she will be gone.They were fed in the morning and hopefully have enough food to last 24 hours. But then Maya got sick with swollen glands and was in pain. And Naomi had no children's painkillers on hand that wasn't expired. Nor could she go out (though the drugstore is just a half mile from her). At some point, the freezing rain was to morph into warm rain. Radar showed a line of pink (bad) and green (good). We watched as the line very slowly inched north making it safe for Steve to get the drug for Maya. By that time, Maya was feeling better. And when he was gone, we lost power (only for a few minutes). I see from the outage map, many people have no power still. Strong winds and ice will do that. Hopefully it is safe for Naomi to feed those animals now as it is 40 now. The ice was so thick on our street that the warmth hasn't made a dent in it. So I guess I can walk in circles in my basement.
And I got a very sad, tearful phone call from my friend. More results came in yesterday from her recent bone marrow test. They had called her with the initial tests saying they could find no immature red blood cells called blasts which are the hallmark of a leukemia diagnosis. That was very good news. However on further testing, her bone marrow still contains her badly mutated DNA which is missing a chromosome that given half a chance, will start producing blasts sooner or later. Their plan is to stop giving her immunosuppressants which they believe may be inhibiting her brother's cells from taking over. And they want to extract lymphocytes from him to infuse into her blood stream. They are hoping that his lymphocytes will kill her bad cells. They will not repeat the bone marrow process as now she is too weak. And although there is some chemo, it will not be effective for long. So she feels doomed. And her host versus graft disease will get worse as her brother's cells attack her along with the leukemic cells. They had told her upfront, this whole process was a 50-50 proposition. She seemed to have a lot going for her to beat these odds. Hopefully this still can work.

1 comment:

Elephant's Child said...

Your poor friend. She must be feeling overwhelmed, physically and emotionally. Sometimes life just isn't fair.


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