This Morning's Notebook To-Do List (Partial)
1. Finish (finally) unpacking from the London Olympics (currently down to just paperwork).
2. Pull out paintbrushes, primer, drills and screwdrivers and start creating a prototype for the 13.7-billion-year interactive outdoor installation we're making with Eli, Virginia and Julie for the TEDx conference at Bates College in October.
3. Try to minimize interruptions for Pamelia as she continues her tireless (and amazing) design work on some of our Big Plans for 2013 and beyond.
4. Make sure Eli and Virginia bring leftover varietal honeys from our Sweet 16 tournament to the Notebook for sampling by the Honey Man. This connoisseur visits us every year and is as passionate and knowledgeable about honey as a sommelier is about wine. He still speaks rapturously about the pumpkin-blossom honey he tasted at the Notebook last year.
5. Check for bear scat. Two nights ago Eli and Virginia were walking Bashi in the driveway at our house when they heard a crash in the woods and (with a flashlight) saw our newest outdoor regular, a small black bear, climbing down from a tree.
6. Prepare to (at last) get back to those of you who have inquired about purchasing signed, never-before-available prints of naturalist Bernd Heinrich's illustrations, which are on display through mid-October at the Notebook.
7. Print out the forms to apply for Russian visas for an early November SI trip to Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympic world press briefing.
8. Continue planning a late September family getaway (a belated 60th-anniversary gift to my parents) to Britain. Our Notebook-related stops will include the Glasgow Science Centre, Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, the Natural History Museum in London and some good sites for watching birds. The blog will report on our discoveries.
9. Get outside.
Giving the Birds Their Due As past visitors to The Naturalist's Notebook know, we are home to the Natural League. We have a homemade, Green Monster-like standings board that shows the current standings of the nine major league baseball teams with names taken from the world of nature, such as Tigers and Marlins.
This summer, because we needed room for a display on Olympian naturalists, I benched the Natural League standings board. That move left a recent visitor highly disappointed. He is fan of the Baltimore Orioles, who have languished near the bottom of the Natural League since its inception in 2009. I feel it is only fair to share with you all today's standings in the Natural League, even if they aren't displayed on our board: