6 September, 2020 A squirrel told me my mother was a “miracle worker”
A person parked next to me this morning at Pony Pasture with the license plate SQRLY1. I asked him what his license meant and he said “It’s sort of a joke. I’m a paramedic and the nickname for people who run lots of calls is a ‘squirrel.’” I laughed and said my parents used to be EMT’s up in the mountains. I’ll continue the story at the end of this post.
Today’s pretty but it’s a challenging time of year (for me) to get pictures I’m super fond of. Leaves are just beginning to fall, and more light will be coming through, and more birds will be (and are) migrating but it’s a slow time. That being said! I got lucky more than zero times this week. My best luck was this sandpiper at Bryan Park. Other than being a sandpiper, I’m stumped about the precise type! I am open to input from anyone who wants to offer it. I’m positive this is either a Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius) or a Solitary Sandpiper (Tringa solitaria). But I’m not sure which! [[This just in! My friend Nancy hypothesizes this is a “non-breeding adult spotted sandpiper”. Her evidence is the white patch on the tip of its tail and the streak through its eye. She asked if it bobbed its tail when it walked but I didn’t see it walk enough to judge.]] Have a look:
The Cornell Lab All About Birds website goes on to say “Though you may think of the beach as the best place to see a sandpiper, look for Spotted Sandpipers alone or in pairs along the shores of lakes, rivers, and streams.”
While researching this post I read this interesting fact about female Spotted Sandpipers: “Female Spotted Sandpipers sometimes practice an unusual breeding strategy called polyandry, where a female mates with up to four males, each of which then cares for a clutch of eggs”.
I saw a lovely butterfly this week at Deep Run. It was crawling down the trunk of an oak tree; I turned it sideways because (IMO) it looks better this way. My best guess is this is a Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis) but I’m not certain that’s correct:
I see skinks more in the Spring than in late summer, but here’s a beauty from earlier this week:
Speaking of butterflies (by the way), I’ve mentioned in earlier posts all the native plants Evelyn has growing on all four sides of our house to attract pollinators. Mackey and Turner and I ended our day with a short walk Thursday. We end every day with a short walk if it’s not pouring rain. It was after 9:30 PM when I looked on our porch screen and saw this beauty:
Yuki’s been out of town for a few weeks but he joined Mackey and Turner and me at the river this fine September morning. The river was still a little high and muddy from all the rain, but these guys make any scene look great:
Speaking of making any scene look great, look at this pot of gardenias Evelyn has in our backyard. I counted sixteen blooms of various ages. They sure are happy!
This flower at the river didn’t smell quite as good as our gardenias but it sure is pretty. The indistinct gardenia colored blur behind it is Yuki:
I think I’ll jot down that quick story I began at the top then sign off for the week. Come back next week!
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A squirrel told me my mother was a “miracle worker”
So I’m shooting the breeze with the guy and his wife, they were real friendly, it was a cool, sunny Labor Day morning (it was this morning) and we’d all just gotten out of our vehicles at Pony Pasture. Most EMS people I’ve met (I’ve met a lot) are “squirrely” to a greater or lesser extent. They all like to talk about EMS. So I said my parents became EMT’s up in the mountains when they retired. I said the scanner was always going in their living room and they’d listen to the string of emergency calls. They knew everyone on the squad and most of their neighbors. I casually mentioned that my mom had three “CPR Save” pins. His eyes widened dramatically and he said “Dude, your mother was a miracle worker!” He went on to tell me he’d been a paramedic for fifteen years and he’d never known anybody who had one.
If you are not a “squirrel” or have not had the good fortune to spend time with squirrels, a brief definition of a “CPR Save.” When EMS personnel arrive at an emergency, or while they’re at an emergency, in rare cases the patient “codes.” “Code” is shorthand; it means the person’s heart has stopped beating. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the US, and when your heart stops beating, you die. More often than not. But for three lucky people, my mom was there when their hearts stopped beating. And my mom performed CPR and got them to the hospital alive. It happens so rarely that the American Heart Association hands out an award – a “Heartsaver Hero” or “CPR Save” pin – when it does.
Again, this guy was a paramedic, emergency medicine is what he does for a living. And he’d never gotten one and never known anyone who’d gotten one. And my mom had three. So that’s why I started out my Labor Day Sunday morning with a total stranger telling me my mom was a “miracle worker.” Good thing mom and dad were “squirrelly”!
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