You wouldn’t guess by this photo that she was freezing, would you?
We had a guest today as new education reporter Anne Williams joined us. We tried to take another swim at Bemidji High School, but it turned out open swimming ended last week, so instead we went to the swimming beach at Diamond Point Park.
Bethany and I walked in gingerly, but daredevil Anne flew in all at once, getting the cold shock over with. I think she was just trying to hurry up and get in the water before I got my camera turned on.
Once we got used to the water, it wasn’t so bad (as long as we stayed in the water), but it definitely wasn’t as warm as the last time I swam in Lake Bemidji after several hot days in a row.
Anne wowed us with her knowledge of the outdoors. We knew she was a whiz, but it’s still impressive to see someone who actually knows the names of the birds we see that aren’t bald eagles, robins and red-winged blackbirds.
She even made friends with a loon. I was surprised the loon let her come as close as it did, even diving down into the lake and popping back up without seeming bothered by Anne’s presence. Later, it poppped up right next to us, startling both Bethany and Anne, who in turn startled me as I was facing the shore and had no idea what kind of creature they could be pointing at.
The highlight of the day was (unfortunately, after I’d packed my camera away), seeing an eagle skim over the surface of Lake Bemidji with supper clutched in its talons and come to rest in a tree on the shore.
Then another bird came swooping over.
"Oh, it’s a juvenile eagle," Anne said.
Bethany objected at first, but Anne explained that it takes about four years for a bald eagle to gets its white head. We then oohed over her being so smart to call it a "juvenile," when we would probably have just said "little" or "young" or something else non-scientific.
Anne may come in helpful if she joins us on a hiking excursion sometime, since we don’t seem to know anything about the world around us! (OK, we’re not that bad.)
Here’s me doing the sidestroke (the lazy stroke I use much of the time)
As you can see, it was a beautiful day. It probably was good to swim outside rather than in, but we got way less exercise. The pool just seems more suited to work, while the lake seems more suited to play. We did do the equivalent of a couple of laps, but later we were chatting so much that we ended up just treading water, which is probably one of those things you don’t realize is exercise. (I can hope!)
It was nice to get together outside the office with Anne, too. In the five years that I have been with the Pioneer, the people holding our three general reporter positions have tended to spend a considerable amount of time together. Often it’s been about work, and at work — discussing what we have coming up, sharing information from sources, talking about the stories and people we cover, discussing AP style and writing in general, and picking one another’s reporter brains.
While Bethany, the city reporter, and Anne have specific beats they cover (I do feature stories and some general news, along with page design), there are other stories that any of us will cover, and there are stories on their beats I cover once in a while when they can’t. So since we all share a certain workload, it’s natural for us to confer now and then, which also leads to us putting our heads together socially as well. It doesn’t happen all that often, and it pretty much leads back to talking about work when it does.
We completely forgot about looking for a How Well Do You Know Bemidji? photo, but the last mystery photo was the bridge at Diamond Point Park. It was maybe an easy one, but we figured if we zoomed in on it, it might be hard to place for people who don’t go to the park regularly. There are a lot of people who do that — sit in the chairs, walk, have some lunch, read a book.
And now it’s September, folks. We’re easing into the fall, the season that I would find wonderful if not for what it leads into.
I wrote two blog posts today. Scroll down for the first one …