Tom and I decided to take in a movie on Saturday. I needed a Bruce Willis "fix" and a excuse to spend the day in Eau Claire. Our agenda started with a drive up-river on Rustic Road 107, an hour or so with Willis in his new flick "Surrogates," grocery shopping and then another ride on our favorite Rustic Road.
After Friday's drenching rain, we expected a strong fallout of migratory songbirds. We were not disappointed.
There were warblers everywhere - redstarts, palm warblers and yellow-rumps. Phoebes lined up on telephone wires with sharp-tailed sparrows, bluebirds and chipping sparrows. No shorebirds and ducks. Lots of Cedar Waxwings gorging themselves on wild grapes.
I heard a Pileated Woodpecker calling off in the distance. How would he respond to the BirdJam version of his song, broadcast through the Prius' JBL radio speakers? I queued the file and played it once. The woodpecker flew out of the woods and perched on the trunk a tree right next to my car window!
But the biggest bird surprise turned out to be the first sighting this season (for us) of White-throated Sparrows (singing their familiar Old Sam Peabody Peabody Peabody song) and Dark-eyed Juncos. Autumn has arrived.
As the morning warmed up, mosquitoes started to plague us. We gave up on the birding and headed to the Carmike Theater at the mall.
I didn't know what to expect from "Surrogates," other than Bruce Willis in another "save the world" role. Not a great film, but a very interesting and timely premise: humans who never leave the comfort of their homes, live happy and "safe" lives vicariously through robot surrogates.
Spoiler alert: In the end, Willis destroys the idea that humans can be happy without ever going outdoors.
Humor alert: the car chase. Picture Bruce Willis chasing the bad guys in the vehicle of the future - a 2010 Prius! Hear the tires screeching?