Solbit says use your powers of observation

Dear Nicalai,

Nona, Papa, and I practice looking a lot.  You wouldn’t think that looking — or observing — takes practice, would you? Yet, the more I practice, the more I realize that I miss seeing what’s right in front of my face. I need more practice to be good at looking to see what’s there.

Here’s an example.  So, I’m riding along in Nona’s pocket looking down at the ground as it passes by. What do I see?  Dirt. Stones. Nona’s foot moving. Then Papa says, “Stop, did you see that?” Nona stopped. What?  “Look down there below you.”

What I had missed but what was clearly there for me to see was a laboring ant moving a big piece of food — big compared to the ant. What a strong ant!

I would have missed the ant with its vegetable burden payload, if Papa hadn’t pointed it out.  That’s another thing about looking: we have to help each other to see things.  Also, we need to pay attention when someone points out something to see.

On the one hand, looking isn’t easy, but, on the other hand, it doesn’t hurt and can be fun, and you can learn things from what you see and others miss.

When we walked the pathways nearby San Pedro House, not far from our place in Sierra Vista, Arizona, we enjoyed looking at this pond.

Pond water, reeds, maybe some algae, that’s about it, right? Wrong!

Well, we heard something.  Water doesn’t make that sound. Neither do reeds, not even in a strong wind. Algae doesn’t either. Papa knew that sound from the days when he had grown up on a farm.  “That’s a frog. Maybe we can find it if we look really hard,” Papa encouraged us.

There’s a dispute who found the frog first, Nona or me. She used her binoculars, and I didn’t, so I should get the credit. Nona put that circle on the picture though.

We had to keep pointing to the frog because Papa just couldn’t find it. It kept croaking away, and Papa kept asking “Where is it?”  I wonder if maybe he needs glasses for distance?

You can see that the frog is well designed to be very hard to find.  That helps the frog escape predators, like hawks, snakes, and people.

I think we were able to look for birds and find them more easily than the frogs. Often, we would hear the birds singing first. Then we’d look in the direction of the sound, and then we might find them.  That’s how we found this bird. Isn’t it interesting how ears help our eyes?

The lark sparrow kindly posed so that Nona could get a good picture of it.

So, our ears helped us to look. A birds sings, peeps, or squawks, and we hear it as, “Look at me. Find me.” Our ears tell us which way and how high or low to look, and then, if we’re lucky, we see the bird.

By the way, some birdwatchers are so good that they don’t have to look to know what bird they will see.  They know each bird’s calls, so all they have to do is hear it. Nona and Papa aren’t there yet.  I don’t want to discourage them, but, I doubt they ever will identify birds just with their ears. Still they do enjoy looking for birds. Enjoying what they do is what’s important.

Bye!

I’m your friend.

Love,

 

 

 

Solbit

April 2017

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit Finds “Big Water” A Fearsome Place

Dear Nicalai,

Hi, we changed countries again.  We’re still in South America, but it’s goodbye Peru and hello Argentina.  Argentina is a really long country, 2,268 miles long.  It runs from north to south along the east coast of South America along the Atlantic ocean, but it’s only 889 miles wide, from east to west.

Nona and Papa told me we were going to a place that was beautiful and “very scenic,” that means it has great views all around.  Well, I don’t think so!  Iguazu Falls just scared me and almost blew out my eardrums too.  Those waterfalls are really loud.

"Iguazu" is a word that is formed from 2 native words meaning "big" and "water." Iguazu Falls is Big Water, for sure.

“Iguazu” is a word that is formed from 2 native words meaning “big” and “water.” Iguazu Falls is Big Water, for sure.

The falls created what Nona called a “mist,”  as in, “Oh, Solbit, you’ll soon dry off. That was just a little mist.”  Oh, yeah, well, I’d call it a shower, and we weren’t even under the falls.  The falls just splash everywhere. I’m little.  I could have drowned.  I think Nona and Papa could be charged with “plastic jurassic endangerment,” but, don’t worry, I’m not going to press charges.

As if those falls weren’t fear inducing enough, after our walk out to the falls, they took me out to lunch in the park.  Sounds nice, right?  Well, it wasn’t.  All you have to do is take a seat on a park bench or a picnic table, put a little food in your hand (OK, I have paws, I guess) and you’ll soon look like a carpet trampled by these little monsters.

I don't know where the word "coati" comes from but it ought to be from 2 words that mean "big" and "nuisance," which is what they are.

I don’t know where the word “coati” comes from but it ought to be from 2 words that mean “big” and “nuisance,” which is what they are.

These coatis come in droves at the slightest hint of food, of scraps, or even a crumb. Nona, Papa, and I had to eat our sandwiches in the shelter of a little park food shop.  We had to find a space to sit on the floor with all the other humans trying to get away from the coatis and the monkeys too.  This is the kind of thing that Nona and Papa think is fun.  Maybe, if they were as little as I am, they would realize its just fearful.

Speaking of size.  Even the little things here are scary.  You know those “little” insects that you call “ants.”  Take a look.

Even the ants are big here at Iguazu Falls, and they have big pinchers to bite you!

Even the ants are big here at Iguazu Falls, and they have big pinchers to bite you!

This ant could take my head off with those pinchers, and I’m made of solid plastic.  Even Nona and Papa had to take care not to step where these ants gathered.  Some people get bitten, and they say that those ant bites really hurt.

.Nona kept telling me not to dwell on the negative. “Solbit, look on the bright side, take time to see the beautiful things too,” she advised me. She did have a point.  I have to admit that, if you can get past the wetness and the loudness of falls, they have an expansive beauty.  Also, some of the little things are harmless and pleasant to watch.

OK, Nona's right, some things at Iguazu Falls are both pretty and safe, like this butterfly on her camera.

OK, Nona’s right, some things at Iguazu Falls are both pretty and safe, like this butterfly on her camera.

Still, getting back to the pueblo (the town) and, as they say, “to civilization,” made me feel so much better.

I couldn’t wait to get through those doors and out of nature, the Great Outdoors. Give me some inside space.  Ah, the Great Indoors calmed me, and, even though I'm an iguanodon, I felt at home again.  Whew!

I couldn’t wait to get through those doors and out of nature, the Great Outdoors. Give me some inside space.  Ah, the Great Indoors calmed me, and, even though I’m an iguanodon, I felt at home again.  Whew!

That probably sounds strange coming from a Jurassic like me, but I guess I’m becoming more and more like you humans.  After all, I hang out with humans so much that they’ve become what’s normal to me.  Normal is good, right?  Bye!  I’m your friend.

Love,

signature

 

 

 

Solbit

August 2016

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”