Apparently, some things are so ingrained you don’t even realize they’ve taken up residence in your brain.
Earlier this month we took a vacation to Florida. In contrast to what we left at home, it was very green, very hot and very wet. Coming from a western Canadian winter, the humidity and greenery were very welcome.
One rainy afternoon we visited the historic Henry Ford and Thomas Edison Homes in Fort Myers. It rained on and off throughout our visit, but remained very hot.
At one point, we were walking down a fairly crowded sidewalk when I heard someone say ‘there’s a snowy owl.’
My head whipped up so fast I nearly dislocated my neck. As you do when searching for snowy owls. The first thing my eyes saw when I looked up was a palm tree, at which point my brain finally kicked in with ‘wait a minute…there are no snowy owls in Florida.’
I lowered my gaze to search for the woman who had said the magic words. An embarrased woman was pointing right at me saying – no, no I meant the one on your t shirt. I looked down and remembered I was wearing my owl t shirt, which has five Canadian owl species on the front. Including, yes, a snowy owl.
As she apologized for first staring and then pointing at my chest, we all had a good laugh about my quick automatic reaction. She was more than a little surprised and confused when I looked straight up instead of at her!
This is hardly the first time my birding brain has overruled my logical brain.My golfing husband came home very excited one evening saying he had gotten an eagle. For just a split second there…I was horrified at the thought he had killed a bald eagle with a golf ball. My logical brain knew perfectly well an eagle was an excellent golf score, but apparently the birding brain rules over logic.
Perhaps I should take up knitting or something…