Captain Ahab reports … nothing.
Today, I spent my time on the top of the garage with the hope – no, stronger than that, BELIEF – that I would at long last get that perfect confirmation of Max’s bands. But, alas, I came home with the same pieces of the puzzle I’ve always had – black over green (for sure), 5 on top (less sure, but still fairly positive), sideways E on the bottom (murky, not so sure).
Anyone who has read this blog knows that since I’ve started working with the program, Max has managed to keep me just on the edge of getting a perfect look at his bands. In response, I’ve become obsessed. Max’s bands have become my great white whale.
I have poured over Preston Kendall’s pictures for hours at a time, but in every single shot, the bands are either partially obscured or blurry. I have stood atop the garage for 6 and 7 hours, only to have Max play with my emotions.
Scenario One: Max lands in perfect direct sunlight and begins to preen. I swing my scope his way, heart hammering, and he holds his right leg out straight. I can see the colors of the bands and the fact that they do, indeed, have numbers and/or letters on them, but, sadly, he is about 2 inches out of the maximum range of my scope, so I cannot quite make them out.
Scenario Two: Max lands well within the range of my scope, stares at me and then slips into a nearby deep pool of shadows before holding his leg out helpfully. The lighting is too murky to read the bands.
Scenario Three: Max lands 4 feet from me and sits down on his feet immediately. He proceeds to stare at me for the next hour and then takes off when I make the mistake of looking down for the first time.
It’s a battle of wills. I am like the Cubs fan of peregrine monitors – every year, I believe and every year the battle is lost. In that grand baseball tradition, I have this to say about Max’s leg bands:
THIS is the year! I feel it! I believe!!
Sadly, the picture above just doesn’t do it. Yet. It’ll happen.
Thankfully, Hercules not only gives me a clear look at her bands every single year, but she gives it to me very early in the season. In fact, she keeps giving me crystal clear pictures of her bands all throughout the season. If only she could talk some sense into Max.
Ooookay. Enough craziness from me. All seems to be on schedule for our favorite jailbirds. They both look great and are hunting up a storm. I’ll keep you posted!