Sometimes people accuse me of embellishing the truth or even just flat out making stuff up. Like I would need to do that! Life is already so weird, and why waste energy on making stuff up when you can just point to the president to point out the existence of various absurdities?
Anyway, some time ago I mentioned finding some nighthawk eggs out in the forest and sure enough someone wrote me to say: "You did not, you're just making that up!"
And so the other day when I was out mapping and noticed a nighthawk flying up off the ground, I thought to myself that I'll show them this time.
Usually the eggs are really, really hard to spot, and if you aren't quick enough to note *exactly* where the adult bird got up from, finding the eggs can be almost hopeless. There's no nest and they're just on the bare ground, and their camouflage is immaculate.
But this one time (it's never happened before), even though I didn't see where the bird got up from and didn't notice it until it was 10' or so off the ground, I saw the eggs almost immediately--I didn't even have to move any closer. Can you see them?
If you're thinking the eggs are that square whitish thing in the upper left quadrant, you're wrong. Eggs aren't square, and that's my mapping board, so give yourself a low zero for that guess, and look harder.
See them now? No?
Okay, take a look here:
And they say I make stuff up. Pffft!
For the record, the eggs are dead center in the upper photo, just to the right of the stick-stone arrangement that also shows in the lower photo.
After mapping, I headed over to run the WMP course at Remarkable Flats, and on my way out on the jeep trail I had parked on, I saw two people standing on the prairie by the road. It's very rare to see people on foot out there, except when there are orienteers around. It looked like they might be looking at insects or flowers or something. As I got close to them, they looked over, and as I pulled up to them it looked like they might want to say something, so I rolled down my window and stopped. It was a guy and a woman. They wanted to know where the bunker was. They had parked near the bunker and had gone for a walk. It developed that they were completely lost and had no idea which way to head to get back. They didn't even know which direction they were headed, even though the skies were blue and the sun well up and plainly visible. And since they looked like they just wanted it to be all done with, I told them to hop in and I would take them to their car.
It turned out they were from Cheyenne, the woman a high school teacher and the guy a UP train conductor (I didn't even know there were still such things as train conductors.) They were very grateful and tried to pay me when I dropped them off at their car.
When I first saw them and as they were getting in my truck, I subconsciously made the assumption they were a married couple and didn't think about it at all until I was driving away after dropping them off. Then for some reason I did think about it, and concluded my assumption had been wrong, and that they had seemed familiar enough with each other that it couldn't have been a first date, it might well have been the first time they had gone off together for a hike in the woods--which obviously had not gone exactly as might have been planned. Well, there are things from an experience like that that you can learn in no other way, so maybe it was a good outing in a silver lining type of way, and at least while we were together I couldn't sense any sign that either of them was put out with the other.
From there, I made my way over to Remarkable Flats and carried out the workout I had planned, running the WMP course--11.7 kms, 19 controls, 3 fence crossings on my route, lots of cows, and pleasant temps despite the sun itself feeling quite warm.