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Source Codes: Five
By Susan Wheeler


The thinnest meal on the slightest isle
Sustains but poorly. So: the file
Of men and women, mile and mile,

In consult with the wizened bat.
Plumes and boas’re where it’s at
She won’t remember saying that.

If hunger takes them to the coast,
They find a spectacle to toast.
Or several of their peers to roast.

Those that make it to the south
Are lucky to live thumb to mouth.
They might prefer the Catamount

Where greenish mountains freeze the nuts.
Though scavenging is an art that’s bust
The ravenous can be beauty sluts.

Those lucky few who do adduce
The food that keeps them from the noose
Will crave on, too. Produce, produce.

--------

Sunday was just as hot as Saturday in the DC area, and we were silly enough to spend it much the same way -- partly at a science fair on a local campus, partly seeing animals outdoors. Montgomery College was hosting the annual Rockville Science Day, so after Hebrew school and lunch, we went there with the kids and Adam's friend. This is always a fun event in that there's a range of exhibits from locally built solar cars and college-designed robots, reptiles and birds from local environmental and rescue organizations, space exhibits, nutrition and health displays, and hands-on demonstrations of chemistry, the life cycle of earthworms and things like that. Daniel would probably have been more interested in the robotics if he had not been practicing "I'm too old for this" detachment, but the younger two were excited about all the animals.

From there, we drove to Lake Whetstone in Gaithersburg for our annual search for goslings. We didn't have to search far; after a brief stop at an ice cream truck and a few minutes looking at the great blue heron nests in the trees on the island in the lake, we found a family of geese munching the grass on the lawn of one of the houses that circle the lake beyond the path. We saw several other families with goslings, plus herons, egrets, cormorants, ducks, turtles, fish, songbirds, a red-winged blackbird and a snake. It was very, very hot and we finished all our water before we were three-quarters of the way around the lake, but it was very nice to see all the animals, and cooler by the lake than it had been at College Park on Saturday.


A family of geese swimming in Lake Whetstone in Gaithersburg.


There were several families in the water and taking shelter under the trees, several of which had fences to protect them from beavers.


Other geese were protecting nests with eggs that hadn't hatched yet, and hissed when we got too close.


There were heron nests high in the trees above the rooftops...


...and turtles of several species sunning themselves on the logs in the lake...


...and a snake in the bushes by the water.


Rockville Science Day had some more exotic animals on display, like this iguana...


...as well as these tortoises, which the kids were allowed to pet so long as they cleaned their hands afterward.


In the late afternoon, we drove down to the restaurant where Adam's Bar Mitzvah party will take place to pick up a seating chart and ask a bunch of questions. Then we had pizza with my parents. When we got home, I folded six loads of laundry while watching October Project live at TLA from a decade ago, then we all watched Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder, which was not my favorite of the specials for a variety of reasons, but still had many funny moments and was Daniel's choice after being away for several days.

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