"....The truth is out there."
-- Dr. Jerome Jackson, 2002 (... & Agent Fox Mulder)
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
"All truth passes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
-- Arthur Schopenhauer
Friday, November 13, 2009
-- Just A Story --
Today, just a quick story, and then tomorrow I'll explain why I've told it:
Shortly before Auburn made their original announcement about the Choctawhatchee, Dr. Hill told me that he was already recruiting searchers for the upcoming search season, and if I knew 1-2 people who might be interested and suitable I could have them contact him. I thought of 8 of the very best birders in my area --- birders who have that knack for spotting rarities, or picking up something in their peripheral vision, or noticing field mark details missed by others, or picking out that one gull in a 1000 that looks different, that almost intuitive sense, and sent them a sketchy email about the chance to be part of an Ivory-bill search team.
I guessed I would probably need to contact about 8 people to come up with 1 or 2 who might be interested and able to do it. A day later it occurred to me that a veterinarian I knew, who was not a birder per se, but had a very deep interest in the Ivory-bill, might be a little resentful if he ever learned that I'd sought out 8 folks for this task and never mentioned it to him. So as mostly a polite gesture I sent him (I'll just call him 'Doc') the same email, figuring there was no way a veterinarian at a major state university would be able to engage in the 2-3 months involvement that Dr. Hill was asking for.
Lo-and-behold... All 8 people with the skill levels I wanted for the Florida effort turned down the offer (usually because family or jobs made such a commitment impractical, though I suspect some thought it was a wild goose chase from the get-go, and were too polite to say so), but 'Doc' jumped at the opportunity (turned out he had a sabbatical coming up anyway). Make no mistake about it, I'm thrilled that Doc got to go, that he had a great time and it was an incredible life-experience; he's a highly competent individual who I'm sure did a superb job for Dr. Hill... BUT hey, in all honesty, he was my 9th choice!!!
Tomorrow... the rest of the story... or, why I've even bothered to mention this.
And heading into the weekend, a re-post of some links for quick access as needed:
Mike C.'s Nov. 5 video: http://www.fishcrow.com/flight5nov09.mp4
Mike's journal page: http://www.fishcrow.com/winter10.html
Frontiers of Identification site: http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/FRID.html
Bill Pulliam's site: http://bbill.blogspot.com
...and open thread below if desired.