Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Spotted Towhee at Palomar Mountain and my childhood Laboratory

I was looking at this photo of Spotted Towhee I took recently and was reminded of a similar photo I took 45 years ago when I was 14 years old. The little film camera probably only had a plastic lens, and the cartridge held film for about 20 exposures.

My family had built a home out in the country on an acre of land in western Oregon. At the back was a small creek (ditch) that I dammed up. Next to it I cobbled together leftover scraps of plywood from our home into my personal hide-out. It wasn't a "clubhouse." It wasn't a "fort." It was "The Lab." There I kept my microscope, chemistry set, science books, and my science journals. I built a blind in one corner and set up a feeder just outside to photograph birds, including the then-named Rufous-sided Towhee.

Spotted Towhee
Spotted Towhee. Palomar Mountain, California. June 17, 2018.
It's funny, 8 years later I was working in a laboratory on a mushroom farm in Ventura, California. Microscope, chemical testing, science books, and log books. No bird blinds. It would have made it feel more complete if it had one though.

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