Thursday, May 31, 2007

Meeting Blaize!

Today was the day I went south of the Twin Cities to meet Blaize Kandler, the 10-year-old boy who got perfect scores on both parts of the state-mandated MCA-II tests last year. When the Star-Tribune interviewed him, he specifically told them to mention my book, 101 Ways to Help Birds, which is his favorite book. (The article is archived here.) Archimedes and I went to Blaize's school to make a presentation to the fourth grade classes about owls, and then I went to Blaize's house for dinner. He made a room into "Birdsville"--a little museum with all kinds of cool exhibits he created and lots of cool bird stuff. I made a few small donations to the museum--a beautiful photo of a Northern Hawk Owl I'd received this spring, a copy of Don Kroodsma's wonderful The Singing Life of Birds since Blaize is fascinated with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology as well as birds, Kenn Kaufman's superb field guide, a copy of Good Birders Don't Wear White: 50 Tips from North America's Top Birders, and a carving of a Shining Honeycreeper I received in Guatemala.

I was shocked at just how much Blaize and his little brother Talon know about birds! Spending time with these wonderful boys was great fun for me, and well worth the 380-mile round trip.