Thankful Thursday: Looking for Tundra Swans

Today was full of lovely things…though not the exact lovely things I might have been expecting. I’m thankful for surprises like these…

I was hoping I might hear back on a manuscript that’s out– and while that didn’t happen, I did get the terrific news that my picture OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW is going to be published in Russia…

…and that EYE OF THE STORM will be on the Spring 2012 Kids’ IndieNext list — a selection of books recommended by indie booksellers.

The full list is available to preview online here,  and the fliers will be in indie bookstores later on. Indie bookstores have a special place in my heart, so this news made me extra happy.

I had four Skype visits today, including two longer presentations, so after a full morning of talking at my computer screen, I decided it was time to get a little fresh air.

I was hoping I might see the tundra swans that have been spotted recently at a state park not too far from my house. But alas…not only were the swans nowhere to be found, the wind was colder than I thought.

I paused by the lake just for a minute and raised my binoculars to watch some common mergansers offshore, when all of a sudden, the whole team took off into the air in a flutter of black and white. Weird, I thought…and was just about to lower my binoculars and head home when this guy came flying into view.

Bald eagles aren’t completely uncommon here in the winter (I actually looked out my window a couple weeks ago and spotted one from my couch) but no matter how many times I see them, I catch my breath.

Later on,  my daughter and I spotted this bird on my neighbor’s feeder.

It wasn’t as big or majestic as the eagle, but we thought it was striking with its suit of black and white.  We got out the field guide but were stumped for a while. It looked like a hairy woodpecker, but it didn’t have the red occipital patch. More careful reading led us to the answer.  It was a hairy woodpecker; only the males of the species have that red patch on their heads, so this one must have been a girl.

Tomorrow will be a long writing day with a quick break to go walking, looking for those tundra swans again. I may not run into them, but who knows what else might be out there?