ruby-crowned kinglet

who wakes up at 5:30am in the morning to go birding? apparently i do, as i crept out of bed at the crack of dawn to head down to the mt.auburn cemetery. looking out the window, however, i saw it was raining, which was all the reason i needed to go back to bed, postpone my early morning birding for another day. i couldn't fall back asleep though, so i watched some television. on the today show's "where in the world is matt lauer" segment, matt was broadcasting from bhutan, one of the places on my "must visit" list. eventually i got drowsy enough that i fell asleep. instead of waking up at a respectable 10am, since i knew i probably wouldn't have a lot of work today, i slept until noon.

just as i predicted, today was a very quiet day. because of the morning rain, conditions outside were still a little wet so i didn't feel like going on a long motorcycle ride to do any naturing. instead i decided to get back to running. i can't remember the last time i went running, but i'd like to say more than half a year ago, before the onset of new england winter. since then i've put on a little bit of weight and probably not in good running shape. i changed, stretched, then headed out. i got about 7 blocks before i had to stop. i walked the rest of the way to the charles river, before picking it back up again. i made it to about a quarter of the loop before i stopped again, this time feeling nauseous. i walked to the eliot bridge (i could feel my leg muscles stiffening up) before running out the rest of the loop. the way i figure it, it's all about baby steps. i don't expect to get back to form after taking a 6 month hiatus, so taking that into consideration, today's run wasn't such a bad outing. the hard part is seeing if i can stay on schedule and commit to running at least a few times a week.

walking back home i found a longfellow postage stamp pin on the sidewalk. to tell you truth, i don't know anything about longfellow. i think he was either a writer or a philosopher who lived in cambridge (i've seen his old house, at least from the outside) and there's that famous bridge that's named after him that caught on fire last night. after i got home i wikipedia'ed him. so apparently he was a famous writer who wrote "paul revere's ride," the only work of his that i'm vaguely aware of (it's hard to grow up in the area and not have heard that poem).

unknown elm seed

after i showered, i was looking out into the backyard when i noticed a little bird flittering about in one of the trees. i grabbed the camera to get a few photos (here's another look), and then later went out to get a closer look. at first i thought maybe it was a female goldfinch, but it was really tiny and had a long thin beak (goldfinch have triangular seed-cracking beaks). so i thought maybe it might be a warbler of some kind, but after looking through the new england audubon guide i couldn't find a match. it was after checking the kaufman did i realize what it was: a ruby-crowned kinglet. the name is misleading since this might've been a female and i never saw any evidence of a ruby crown. it was hopping around the branches, flying about and pecking around. it's kind of ironic, because this was one of the birds i wanted to see at mt.auburn cemetery, and i never thought i'd see it (for the first time) in my own urban cambridge backyard.

chinese tea eggs

it was 3pm by then and i still haven't had lunch yet. i went to market basket to get some groceries (the parking lot was pleasantly uncrowded) and stopped by the cafe to drop off some cucumbers and lemons. my mother gave me some tea eggs as i motorcycled back home.

tuxedo-cobra hybrid

not sure if people understood what i was talking about when i mentioned the cobra-tuxedo guppy hybrid so i got a photo to explain. tuxedo guppies are dark on the lower half of their bodies. i'm not sure how a pure strain population of female cobra guppies would give birth to tuxedo hybrids, unless the fish store people mixed up the breeds, whether on purpose or accidently. once impregnated, female guppies can continue giving birth for up to 3-4 times. so far i haven't seen another tuxedo hybrid though, so maybe it was just for the first batch. (the guppy on the left is a true cobra guppy).

i whipped up a smoothie as the "work day" drew to a close. watching the start of the baseball game from my bed, i almost fell asleep. for dinner i had another rotisserie chicken (i was going to make lasagna but wasn't motivated enough).

finally, from time to time, i consult bbc's teen horoscope celebrity match up to find out whom i'm most compatible with. here's what it said for today.