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Rainbow Dragon's Dares

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    Originally posted by DorothyMH View Post
    Were your dogs with you or can you take them to Rondeau?
    Dogs are allowed in Rondeau, and I do sometimes take them for a treat, but not these past couple of days. (I hiked a trail on Friday that is in rough shape due to flooding and erosion. It would have been too treacherous for my dogs, as well as too long. And it poured with rain while I was out there, which my dogs would not have liked. Saturday I did an easier trail, but there were a lot of people in the park, which would have made my dogs super excited and made it more difficult for me to maintain safe physical distancing from everyone. Plus, it is difficult to photograph birds while I have two large and strong dogs on a lead.)


      Thank you Zastria lapedrina . It is wonderful to be allowed back into Rondeau! Though I do have other options for access to nature near me, and I have tried to make good use of them over the past couple of months, there is really nothing else in my area like Rondeau. Plus, there is a definite "community" of people who visit Rondeau regularly. It was wonderful to get to see everyone again this weekend. (Even though we had to keep our distance while greeting one another--which was no big deal since these are people with whom I pretty much only ever spend time together outside in a huge park. We did't get physically up in each other's faces even during pre-Covid19 times.)


        Thursday, May 14 - Rainbow's Days of Fitness Day 22

        Knee Push-ups Challenge - Day 5: 1:30 seconds - done on my toes - 18 push-ups this day. 48/42 week-to-date for The Pushers Week #1.

        Baseline (version 1.0) - Day 26: 26:30 - Level III with my mother.

        yoga flow: 24 minutes

        Total: 52 minutes

        Other stuff:

        1 km hiking

        Only Homemade Food - ​​ - Total Days: 134/134
        A Salad a Day - ​​ - Total Days: 124/124
        No Video Games - ​ - Total Consecutive Days: 155
        No Seated Television - - Total Consecutive Days: 74
        GBOT (10:30) - - Total Days: 45/92
        GOBOT (6:30) - - Total Days: 62/92


          Friday, May 15 - Rainbow's Days of Fitness Day 23 - RETURN TO RONDEAU Day!

          Knee Push-ups Challenge - Day 6: 25 seconds - done on my toes - 0 push-ups this day. 48/42 week-to-date for The Pushers Week #1.

          Baseline (version 1.0) - Day 27: 19:30 - Level III with my mother.

          Total: 20 minutes

          Other stuff:

          22 km hiking
          10 minutes restorative yoga

          Only Homemade Food - ​​ - Total Days: 135/135
          A Salad a Day - ​​ - Total Days: 125/125
          No Video Games - ​ - Total Consecutive Days: 156
          No Seated Television - - Total Consecutive Days: 75
          GBOT (10:30) - - Total Days: 45/93
          GOBOT (6:30) - - Total Days: 62/93

          Technically, I am supposed to be doing more than "just hiking" to meet my minimum 60 minutes of exercise, 6 days/week goal. But I am letting that one go this time. It's not every day I get to return to Rondeau after being locked out of the park for two months, and, while hiking in Rondeau is not exactly mountain climbing (no location in the park is more than a few metres above lake level, and parts of the trail I hiked this day were in fact under water), 22 km of hiking, plus hefting a 2 lb. camera up to my face almost 700 times, was still a pretty good workout. I was plenty tired by the end of the day.


            Saturday, May 16 - Rainbow's Days of Fitness Day 24

            Knee Push-ups Challenge - Day 7: 1:30 - done on my toes - 18 push-ups this day. 66/42 week-to-date for The Pushers Week #1.

            Baseline (version 1.0) - Day X: 00:00 - Skipped today as my mother was not feeling well. (Not Covid, and she's feeling better already by this morning. So no worries.)

            Xpress Tone - Day 22: 40:30

            yoga flow: 18 minutes

            Total: 60 minutes

            Other stuff:

            9 km hiking
            12 minutes meditation

            Only Homemade Food - ​​ - Total Days: 136/136
            A Salad a Day - ​​ - Total Days: 126/126
            No Video Games - ​ - Total Consecutive Days: 157
            No Seated Television - - Total Consecutive Days: 76
            GBOT (10:30) - - Total Days: 45/94
            GOBOT (6:30) - - Total Days: 63/94 - Now let's see if I can get this train back on track!


              Rainbow Dragon when you are “on your toes” for your knee push ups, is that saying you are doing classic form push ups as opposed to knee push ups? Cuz that’s a lot of push ups for one who says she isn’t doing much for push ups!


                Yes, that's correct, DorothyMH . So far I have only progressed in the challenge from 3 x 5 push-ups to 3 x 6, and already the 3rd set is HARD. I don't want to do kneeling push-ups though, since I can do classic push-ups with good form. I just cannot do very many of them. I am sticking with the 30 second breaks between sets for this challenge. Then, if I am not able to complete the latter sets as "pure" sets (continuous motion, without breaking form), I allow myself to break form by pushing back into downward-facing dog, taking a breath, then coming forward again and continuing. (I did not need to do that for the 3 x 5 days, but I did for the 3rd set on both 3 x 6 days. This is evidence of just how badly I've been neglecting my push-ups over the past year, since I used to be able to do 20 push-ups in one set not that long ago.)


                  May 17 Daily Dose of Nature

                  I saw lots of great birds in Rondeau over the past couple of days, including some of my personal favourites: a Cedar Waxwing, Sandhill Cranes, Marsh Wrens, Scarlet Tanagers, a Virginia Rail, an American Bittern, and lots of colourful warblers. Which to share with you first? I was mulling over this question during my hike on Saturday when this magnificent bird flew down through the trees from where it had been circling above the forest canopy, perched on a tree branch in full view of the trail, and declared it wanted to be introduced to Io6 :

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                  This is a Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura). Turkey Vultures are also sometimes called Buzzards. Here is where the terminology gets confusing: In North America, a "buzzard" = a New World Vulture (Family: Cathartidae). In Europe, a "buzzard" = one of several species of birds in the Genus Buteo, which is a member of the Old World Vultures (Family: Accipitridae). We have several species of Buteos in North America, but these birds are called "Hawks" here, and the Family Accipitridae is commonly called "Hawks, Eagles, and Kites". Australia's Black-breasted Buzzard (Hamirostra melanosternon) is also a member of the Accipitridae Family, but a different Genus from the European buzzards. (Hamirostra melanosternon does not occur in North America. Nevertheless, iNaturalist--which gives common names for species based on the declared language and geographical preferences of the viewer--tells me this bird is called a "Black-breasted Kite".) This naming confusion exists because ornithologists observed superficial similarities between New World and Old World vultures and initially assumed that the two groups of birds were closely related. But they're not. New World Vultures are more closely related to Storks (Order: Ciconiiformes) and Ibises (a Family within the Order: Pelecaniformes) than they are to their Old World namesakes.

                  Check out the huge nostrils on this bird:

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                  Most birds, including Old World Vultures, do not have the greatest sense of smell. Turkey Vultures, on the other hand, have an excellent sense of smell. Hawks hunt by sight, but Turkey Vultures detect their food--which is almost exclusively carrion--primarily by smell.

                  Turkey Vultures are not sexually dimorphic. (Females are slightly larger than males, on average, but this is not a useful characteristic for sexing Turkey Vultures in the field.) Nor does a Turkey Vulture's appearance vary with the seasons. There are, however, some differences between adult and juvenile birds. The bird pictured above, with its bright pink head and all-white bill, is an adult. Juvenile Turkey Vultures have grey heads with black tips on their bills. By their first spring, Turkey Vultures have pinkish red heads, but some black usually remains on the tips of their bills.

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                  Note the white feet on this bird. Juvenile Turkey Vultures have grey legs, but by their first spring, their legs have turned pink like an adult's. This bird's legs are white because they are covered in bird poop! It is thought that Turkey Vultures' habit of pooping onto their own legs is a thermoregulation adaptation to help cool the bird down.

                  Turkey Vultures are expert gliders who rarely beat their wings in flight, other than to take off and land. Their wings are usually held in a slight V shape while in flight, and the birds often tilt from side-to-side as an air current first catches one of their wings, then the other.

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                  These are huge birds, with a wingspan of 1.5 - 2.0 metres. At a distance, Turkey Vultures can appear very similar to an eagle. The v-shaped wings, and tilting from side-to-side glide pattern of a Turkey Vulture helps to distinguish it from an eagle in flight.

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                    I cannot like this post enough! That is so awesome!! I have heard what I call a Buzzard also called a Kite. Carrion birds are fascinating. Thanks heaps for sharing those shots, made my day.




                        I'm glad you liked, Io6 . Turkey Vultures get short shrift in the birding world, in part because they are quite common around here, in part because they are considered unattractive on account of their bald heads, and in part because people are turned off in general with the idea of carrion eaters. But I think Turkey Vultures are magnificent. Their flight abilities are impressive, and they fulfill a very important role ecologically. It would take a lot of bacteria and maggots to break down the carcasses Turkey Vultures take care of for us. Their genus name, Cathartes, in fact means "purifier".


                          It looks cute and terrifying simultaneously, amazing


                            I honestly can't decide which bit of all that I'm still enjoying most (have been rereading): the fascinating information about varied nomenclature, the photos, imagining them gliding or the fact about them crapping on their own feet to keep cool. It's a gift thst keeps on giving.
                            My partner is sick of hearing about Turkey Vultures and wants to know if you see any Peregrine falcons.


                              I did see a Peregrine Falcon on Friday, Io6 . I think I only have photos of Peregrines perched, and none of them are super crisp. But I will add Peregrine Falcon to my list of upcoming DDoN posts and see what I can dig up.


                                Sunday, May 17 - Rainbow's Days of Fitness Day 25

                                Knee Push-ups Challenge - Day 8: 25 seconds - done on my toes - 0 push-ups this day. 0/56 week-to-date for The Pushers Week #2.

                                Baseline (version 1.0) - Day 28: 23:50 - Level III with my mother.

                                Xpress Tone - Day 23: 36:30

                                Total: 60 minutes

                                Other stuff:

                                4 km hiking

                                Only Homemade Food - ​​ - Total Days: 137/137
                                A Salad a Day - ​​ - Total Days: 127/127
                                No Video Games - ​ - Total Consecutive Days: 158
                                No Seated Television - - Total Consecutive Days: 77
                                GBOT (10:30) - - Total Days: 45/95 - Ugh. Latest night in months. Possibly latest night in years.

                                It's tough to stay on track on Sundays now, since Sunday is grocery shopping day, and grocery shopping has become such an ordeal. Today went pretty smoothly, however. I wasn't going to make it to bed on time, but I was at least on schedule to hit my bed within one hour of my target. Then something happened that threw me for far more of a loop than it had any right to do. Something small and likely of no consequence to me whatsoever, but nevertheless, it pushed several of my buttons, and I wasted a bunch of time afterward wishing I could take a vacation from the pandemic and then a bunch more time berating myself for being such a whiner when the pandemic's impact on me personally has been minor compared to its impact on most people on the planet.

                                I guess I was a little more raw over recent events than I had thought. It was a bad day for Canada, and now everyone here is grieving--but that's a guilt-ridden kind of grief too. Most of us don't know the victim of the Snowbird crash. We're not truly mourning the loss of her life (which was only one of many lives lost yesterday all over the world). We're mourning the loss of the ideal, of the hope, the Snowbirds were supposed to represent. And I feel... I don't know... selfish? for mourning such a thing when people are dying.

                                Also: there is a major Covid-19 outbreak in my community now. We only have 135 cases in the entire municipality, and 95 of them are at the same workplace. The reason for this is because, in Canada, we do not pay farm workers a living wage. Farm owners are allowed to pay their employees significantly less than the minimum wage for every other employee in the country, in theory because they provide their employees with housing. But we're not talking single-family dwellings here. Farm workers live in barracks. So when one worker at one local farm caught Covid-19, the disease of course spread like wildfire throughout the entire farm workforce. These are people who do not even enjoy the benefits of Canadian citizenship. (Canadians literally cannot afford to work on farms. Most of the work is done by migrant workers who don't even have permanent resident status here.) So now a bunch of poor people from Caribbean countries are sick so that once a week I can drive an automobile that no one but me has even touched in two months now to a grocery store where I fill up a shopping cart with a large quantity of very nutritious and tasty fresh produce for an affordable (for my family, but not for everyone's) price and then bring it home to enjoy within the safety of my family's private house.

                                So much about our world has got to change.

                                GOBOT (6:30) - - Total Days: 63/95 - Not remotely possible after going to bed at 4AM.