I took the boys to the park to walk around the large urban pond, one of our favorite walks. It's next to the rose garden where I took all these fabulous photos last year, which in turn is next to a dog park. This walk has something for all of us. Tall Boy gets to run like a maniac, playing with other dogs, then I get to stop and smell the roses, and then, while I look at the water birds (how weird to say those words in the middle of a drought-ridden desert), Mr. Big fondly remembers his dive into said urban pond after a duck many years ago, and Tall Boy gets to ponder whether he has any retrieving and hunting genes in him at all in the face of all those ducks and geese.
This morning, out early (it was 107 degrees/41degrees the other day--we are on our summer schedule now), we saw male and female lesser scaups (love the blue bill), more coots, and the mysterious olivaceous cormorant that's been hanging around all year. He's mysterious because he appears to be alone (I've only seen the one) and shouldn't be here this time of year. In fact, he really shouldn't be this far inland in the middle of a desert at all. But I watched him diving and eating this morning, and had a fantastic view of him coming up with a little fish in his bill, so clearly there's enough for him to eat. The lone black-crowned night heron I saw there two or three years ago has become a small breeding colony, and now there are at least 8 to 12 visible at any one time. Maybe a lady cormorant will join him this winter.
I'm in the market for new binoculars, so if any of you have any recommendations, please leave a comment. The local wild bird store only stocks Vortex, and while they are awesome compared to what I'm using, and while I really want to purchase locally, I also want to comparison shop.
I haven't done a restaurant review in a while, and I've been wanting to tell you about the delicious eggplant slices that I had a few months ago. They were sauteed with cucumber sauce and served with pita, and are an appetizer at the Shish Kebab House. This eggplant was so creamy and so delicious it was unbelievable! Although the kousa belanban (squash baked with yogurt, garlic, olive oil and herbs) was very good, I've been dreaming about those eggplant slices ever since. And while I like eggplant, it's not my favorite veg. Served this way, it could be, though.