Friday, March 06, 2009

First Day on a New Continent


I am in the Philippines on a familiarization tour for birders. I am the only U.S. birder along on this trip with a whole mess of British bird watchers. We've had a good time, despite our many cultural, lingual, and intellectual differences.

We spent much of March 3 birding at Subic Bay, the site of the former U.S. Naval base. I'll post in more detail about the trip in the coming weeks, but for now, a few images from my first day on a new continent: Asia.

We were greeted by school-age dancers who performed a show they'd done earlier in the year for the local bird festival. The Candaba Wetlands are an amazing foraging and stopover point for migrant shorebirds, waders, and waterfowl. I arrived in the Philippines a half-day later than expected and only got to Candaba in time to pack up and leave for Subic.

That night we had a welcome dinner at a fancy restaurant on Subic Bay called The Lighthouse. My friends had a surprise for me: they knew about my birthday and the hotel made me a cheesecake! The lounge singers sang Happy Birthday to me, too, which was really fun.


It's great to have the chance to travel to new places to see birds. It's even better to make new friends and enjoy the company of existing friends while you're traveling after birds.

I'm trying to appreciate each moment and to count those many blessings.

I'd share some bird pix here, but have yet to download what I've taken.
More posts soon, I promise!

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Happy Birdday!

All hail the cherry-custard birthday pie.

Growing up in the Thompson family (even though my mom always said my "real" father was J. Paul Getty) you got to design a dinner menu of your favorite foods for your birthday dinner. Every year on my birthday for as long as I can recollect, I'd eat two of my favorite things: barbecued spare ribs and my mom's cherry-custard pie. I have been known to go to extreme lengths to eat these foods on my special natal day. Or to enjoy them as near to it as I possibly can.

Several years recently I've been in Guatemala on my birthday, birding with my friends from there and visiting from the U.S. In those years, I substituted Guatemalan food for the ribs and Gallo cerveza for the pie. As soon as I got home, we'd have the March Thompson family birthdays, and I'd get my fave foods.

This year I'll be away again, so my dear mother baked me the world's most amazing pie early, and I ate two pieces for breakfast this morning (time shift acknowledgment, I am writing this on March 1 for posting on March 3). OH MY LORDY THAT'S GOOD PIE.... and if you were here, reaching for the last piece or even for a bit of the crust left on my plate, I'd warn you about losing a limb. My mom makes the word's best pie crust, there's just no debate.

My mom sometimes burns the birthday pie to appease the dark kitchen gods.

So happy bird day to my fellow March thirders: John Kogge, Ron Tuffel, Valerie Butler, Holly Wallinger, Ton Loc, Alexander Graham Bell, Jessica Biel, Jean Harlow, Snowy White, Robyn Hitchcock, Ira Glass, Jackie Joyner-Kersee (same year!), Herschel Walker (same year!), Seomoon Tak, and L'il Flip.

And thanks to Catbird, mi madre, for the pie! I love you!

—#1 Son.

BOTB and Elsa "Catbird" Thompson

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Happy Birthday to Zick!


Happy Birthday to the Science Chimp of Indigo Hill!
Wishing you many more!

love,
B (otb)

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