I came across Mr. Goat's Valentine by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Kevin Zimmer at the library yesterday and I am glad I did. When Mr. Goat realizes it is Valentine's Day, he knows it is time to find a gift for his first love. He sets out and collects a variety of unusual items for his first love and then delivers them himself. His first love ends up being his mother, though the reader doesn't know that until the very last page. If you spend time with preschool or elementary students, it would be worth getting from the library to share with them. The Day it Rained Hearts is still my favorite Valentine book, though this one is now number two on my list. Do you have any favorite books for Valentine's Day?
Yesterday I went bird watching. There is a Christmas Bird Count sponsored by the Audubon Society, and I took part. The group I was part of has been meeting for years here in town. We met up in the morning at a restaurant, and then we were put into groups . Each group was assigned to cover a certain part of the area surrounding town. We drove around, looking for birds, sometimes stopping to see if a grove of trees had any birds. We also stopped when an individual saw a bird. Then those with binoculars would try to determine what kind of bird it was. The surprise to me is that we saw eighteen unique species-despite it being in Minnesota in winter. Some of those were three kinds of woodpeckers, at least one dark-eyed junco, snow buntings, two types of finches, lots of blue jays, six robins, two cardinals, along with some turkeys and pheasants. It was good to go with others (I didn't know what a junco was and didn't have binoculars either), but bird watching might be my new hobby. I like the idea of it, as I don't need to invest in a lot of stuff (probably just another bird guide and a set of binoculars). It is also something I can do anywhere and it doesn't produce stuff, though I will likely start a notebook to track what I have seen as well as when and where I saw certain birds.