Sunday, August 08, 2004

Ducks and Male-Pattern Blindness

Mystery Duck
Bird books! Can't figure them out! You seem to have to already be a birder to be able to use them: already ascertaining whether something is a wader, a flycatcher, a warbler, or an icterid. It sure must help to know this esoteric information anyway. Me? I just start at page one and go from there. I don't consider this to be fun — especially when I search through the whole book and come up with zip!

I have two blasted books and can't find this duck in either. There are a few (ducks, not books) out at the wetlands, swimming with the mallards, so I took the picture and came home to look it up. Hmmm, can't find it under marsh ducks, which is where one might reasonably expect to locate a quacking thing that inhabits wetlands. Surely, it's not sea duck? Right, for once. But it doesn't seem to be a bay duck either or a merganser (whatever that is), so I just don't know.

As you have all figured out from the last blog, if not the several dozen that preceded it, I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but this makes me feel positively imbecilic. I am looking in Peterson's Eastern Birds at the moment (primarily so I can list all of those bird and duck types above and perhaps appear to have at least a twittering of a brain), but locate it I cannot. I suppose that somebody will open the book, point right at the critter, and look at me (a cyber look anyway) with perplexity, but I can't help it. I just can't see a photo in the books that corresponds with the one above.

My brother-in-law, swears (as in solemn vow as opposed to blasphemous language — although he has been known to do that too) that he and most males (as he looks directly at me and nods knowingly) are afflicted with (or by?) male-pattern blindness. For example: sometimes I stare perplexedly into a cupboard, searching aimlessly and hopelessly for this jar or that bottle. If a female perchances to pass by, I will invariably ask for assistance, and she will invariably pluck the elusive item from … well it's usually right in front of me — at eye-level, no less. Go figure.

So, what duck this? I will even accept an answer from males who don't happen to suffer from the usual male-pattern blindness affliction. If that's possible.


Butterfly said...

It's been fun to catch up on your blogs. I haven't blogged in ages due to the extreme activity level in my life lately.

Have you ever thought that none of the Americans that read your blog would know who/what you're talking about when you refer to Tim's? They probably wish that they could stop into Tim's house for sandwiches and good coffee too.

Anvilcloud said...

They are spreading, slowly but surely. But don't spill the beans.

Alianora said...

Do you mean Tim Horton's? I have a dear friend who lives in Ontario and she talks about Tim Horton's to me in emails and on the phone quite a bit. She and her friends go there for coffee quite often. Perhaps it's the equivelant to Krispy Kremes here. Or, Tully's Coffee Co. I didn't mention Starbucks because their coffee tastes disgusting to me.

Anvilcloud said...

Yes, Tim's is a Canadian cultural icon -- if a coffee shop can be an icon. They are spreading, slowly, into states that are near the border. I have seen them in Michigan for example.

Starbucks drives me crazy. You need an inpterpreter to understand the choices. At Tim's you can get coffee or coffee. One kind. Very simple.