Bowlin' For Birds

I was stepping into the shower this morning and found a squirrel spying on me. Yeah, it's as disturbing as you might think it is to have a squirrel giving you the hairy eyeball right after you undress.

So, for some reason I have it in my head that when I'm not traveling I have a ton of time. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...ha.

This morning when I walked into The Raptor Center, I saw one of the staff running around like a chicken with her head cut off. She started out having a great morning and then things went haywire and she had to rush rush rush. I chuckled and was relieved that wasn't me...oh my how that worm turned on me.

It now turns out that Eagle Optics will have a team at the Xcel Energy Raptor Bowl. I had to corral some people at the last minute and guess who I roped in? Non Birding Bill! I think I lured him with the promise of fish and chips available at Brit's Pub where the fundraiser is being held. I also roped in an old co-worker by the name of Denny Martin to help out. I need a third team member and I have called everyone I know and asked, "Hey, you want to skip work tomorrow afternoon and play a type of bocce ball and have beer all while raising money for The Raptor Center???"

How could people resist an offer like that?

"You're going to wear that?"

If you're in the downtown area tomorrow, stop by and say hello to me and NBB. Cinnamon will not be along, she disapproves of 90 degree heat. I'm trying to find hats and shirts for us all to wear so we'll look corporate like everyone else. I'm tempted to wear a tank top since it will be so hot, but Cinnamon is greatly disapproving of that (note her reaction above).

Tomorrow is just going to be crazy busy and fun. First I have KARE 11, then I have to get the binoculars to the TRC gift shop at Raptor Bowl and then I have to lawn bowl. I'm tired just thinking about it. I'm supposed to do more osprey banding on Thursday, but I may have to bow out of that.

Don't forget there will be celebrity judges at Raptor Bowl...mostly sports types so I can't remember their names.

My other big project this month is getting my book off the ground. It was supposed to come out this spring but I was swamped getting my footing with the new job and my editor had other projects so we both decided to wait until we had our full attention ready to devote to it. Now is the really exciting part where we are deciding the design and the photos.

I'm going to put part of the process in here because I had no idea how books come into bloom and this is a really fascinating process. I gave all the text to my editor a few months ago and I have an idea of how I want it presented--based on books I enjoyed when I first got into birding and based on what books sell at bird stores. Gretchen is doing a great job of interpreting what I'd like and making it come together. I have notes in my text of "chart here" or "graph there" "bird doing this here" and when I go into meetings, she has a draft with what I had in mind.

What's really cool, is that I'm being allowed to have more input on the design than I ever would have imagined. For some reason I had it in my head that once you sent the text in, that was it--the design was at the mercy of your editor and publisher. I think I had this idea from the many misidentified birds and mislabeled captions I've seen in books--I didn't want to believe the author would let that happen, that obviously had to be someone else's fault. Now, I feel the pressure is really on because I have to make sure every bird is correctly identified in the book and makes sense for where it ends up on the page.

I'm so excited, I'm going to have an ISBN number. When I think back to how much I hated writing in high school and how I could never imagine anyone doing it willingly, let alone for a living, I'm shocked to see that's me.

The hard part right now is finding photos. I need photos of birds where you can see buildings and evidence of human habitation. Many photographers tend to try and get shots with as little evidence of humans as possible. I know some photographers photoshop their images like crazy to get the shot to look totally natural. I wonder if I will have to resort to photoshop to edit the people evidence back in?