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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Wintery weather

Trying to stay upbeat during our first norther of the season. Not easy. Especially when my back is so bad. The doctor called me yesterday with the results of my MRI, but it's not the specialist I'm going to in El Paso. The local doctor said I have "advanced degenerative disc changes." I did a little online research:

"After a patient reaches 60, some level of disc degeneration is a normal finding on an MRI scan, rather than the exception."

I also gathered that discs degenerate worse with dehydration. It's probably safe to say that in the past 40 years that I've lived in the Big Bend, I've been moderately to severely dehydrated half of the time. Oh, well, hindsight and all...

The bottom line is I'll probably just have to manage the pain with medication. Also possible that when I get bad enough the proteins that cause the pain will be used up and my pain will decrease. But the doctor in El Paso probably won't consider surgery an option (as there doesn't appear to be any herniated disc, and probably not a pinched nerve). I'm OK with that. I change what I can, and accept what I can't. It's hard to accept winter though.

I recklessly joined a Lower Rio Grande Valley butterfly group on facebook and now I'm subjected to the torture of seeing daily photos of all the great butterflies showing up there. But in fewer than three months (about 80 days) Lucifers will be buzzing around the oasis feeders. Meanwhile, I have a couple of cold hummers hanging around. This selasphorus in Alpine is probably a Rufous. There are a few Anna's around too but the selasphorus won't let them near the feeders. I don't know how they survive.

Here in Alpine my genius son made a koozie for a feeder. We've been changing out our frozen feeders frequently today. The koozie might help. Can't hurt.

At CMO there are several Anna's besides an Allen's.


  1. I'm glad you will push through winter. There will be bright and warm days ahead. Getting old is a bummer. All part of life and I'm glad you have been a part of mine.
    : )

    1. Thanks for the kind words, and I'm super glad you're part of mine.

  2. Ah. Life after 70. I think you have done an amazing amount of hard physical work..even after 70. And needn't look for a cause (unless your forbearers were mannually building roads and trails in their "senior" years). And thinking of winter metaphorically, yes, even then it's hard to accept. I'm less over 70 than you, and I find it hard to accept that I'm in early winter instead of spring..or even summer. But you are doing good amazing amount, even when the physical labor is not considered. Such as a wonderful blog. Thank you.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I can't wait for spring when I can go up my mountain and photograph flowers and butterflies.