Time to bring the kid back from school, so a drive through the mountains up to northern NY and back. It was surprisingly pleasant, other than an hour stuck in traffic Saturday morning because of a wreck on the Susquehanna River bridge. Time to fire up the various happy-music CDs and lay back and look at the woods and birds off to the side of the highway. There were some nice things on the trip – a single Raven in the Pennsylvania nountains (like last trip), and beautiful weather to drive through the back roads of NY state (thanks, GPS!). It was nice to wake up hearing a Willow Flycatcher sneezing away out the back window of the motel, and the various warblers and vireos that I haven’t heard down in MD for these many years. It took me a bit to realize that all the Crows I saw were the ‘real thing’ and not like down home, where the crows are now 50% or more Fish Crows in the summer, thanks to West Nile. A lot of dead deer by the side of the road, and one sighting that made all my sphincters clench – a young deer (maybe just out of fawn plumage) grazing nervously in the median strip of Rte 81 in NY. Luckily, I got past without any panic on the part of either of us. The long weekend made it possible to recover gently from the rigors of the drive, helped by watching the Reduced Shakespeare Company DVD with the younger kid on Movie Night. I’ll have to bite the bullet and pay for tickets the next time they tour through the area.