Monday, October 6, 2008

Hip drops and bird sightings...

It was a busy weekend. I've been excellent on my diet (running on the weekend really seems to spur things along) and have lost 5.2 pounds so far. *heavens rejoice* I still have 5 full pounds to get down to what I weighed pre-Hank. There are many, many things that will never be as they were pre-Hank (all mothers know exactly what I'm talking about; anybody else anxiously awaiting the next Victoria's Secret semi-annual sale?) but I'm hoping my weight won't be a casualty.

Anyway, my weekend started off nicely with my Friday evening bellydancing class. I arrived to the community center where our class is held to the happy sound of coins jangling. I quickly changed into my half soles and green hip scarf for the warm-up and new movement portion of the class. We learned how to do these chest slide things with a head drop. Confusing sounding I know, but it's the best description I can come up with :) Then we practiced our routine. It's a real slow tune from vol. 2 of the Bellydance Superstars collection. Per one of my earlier posts, you know that it involves much use of the veil. Needless to say, I'm very, very nervous about the fact that our Hafla is *this* Saturday. We're much improved, but I still feel we (translation: *I*) need a lot of practice. I forget my sways very easily, and the envelope is still killin' me. Plus, our post-envelope circle looks emaciated, because we're all still so dazed from finding our way out of our veils. I also still need to finalize my 16 count solo. *heartbeat accelerates* *scared* I may practice with some of my classmates this week, which should help to calm me.

Anyway, Saturday morning I accompanied my wonderful friend Chris and his Introduction to Birdwatching students to the Iroquois Wildlife Refuge for some morning bird sightings. We had a *fabulous* time. We all carpooled, and Chris and I were in a car with two of his students. I suppose it was a compliment that I had a hard time convincing one of them that I was a real adult and wasn't also a student in the class :) We arrived with lots of good natured snickering going on amongst the students. We saw a couple of pretty things at first: American Goldfinch, some flocks of Canada Geese. Then, we stopped at an area of the refuge called Cayuga Pool. Some calm looking ducks were there, Wood Ducks, and a Green Winged Teal. Interesting, to be sure. Suddenly, Chris spots the mother lode: an American Bald Eagle. A shout goes up, and suddenly the air is filled with excitement. Binoculars are yanked onto faces, fingers are pointed. My heart in my throat, I find the eagle in my binoculars. I watch as he flies over the pond in front of us, scaring the absolute crap out of every other bird in a mile wide radius. Whole flocks of normal-sized birds spot the eagle and flee in terror. There is suddenly an abundance of bird life to behold :)

It was the first time I have ever seen a Bald Eagle. When I got him in the binoculars, I teared up. He perched on a branch, and Chris got him in the lens of his scope. Everyone took turns looking, me waiting impatiently and wanting to mow the students down so that I could see him before he flew away. When it's my turn, I step up to see him sitting majestically on a bare branch, clearly surveying *his* territory. King of the pond, no doubt about it. It was truly a memorable moment. Later, we saw a Hairy Woodpecker, some large birds of prey: a Northern Harrier (my first!) and an Osprey, a Marsh Wren flitting in some tall grass, and a really fabulous looking long-necked water bird called an American Bittern. Hard to top that eagle, though.

Now, it's Monday. I have lots of bellydancing to do this week, and classes to teach at work, sigh. Lots more World Civ. in my future, I'm afraid. I missed Bridezillas last night out of pure love for my husband, who wanted to watch the Steelers on Sunday Night Football. But I promise an update when I catch the re-run :) I *did* catch a bit of a show on WE called Amazing Wedding Cakes. If you think that there can't be much drama about such a mundane detail as a cake, you would be wrong...

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