Arizona Birds

This is my first time on the computer in weeks, because I'm still pretty sick from my accidental and idiotic exposure to toxic quantities of metal dust. At this point, metal dust (and glue!) is embedded in every inch of my skin and it feels like slivers of glass. Pieces are coming out my eyes, ears, mouth, and nose, and today I found out my right cornea has been cut yet again! I'm too scared to think about what is in my lungs (which hurt more every day), or what that will do to me.

I am going to the Environmental Health Center at Cambridge Hospital on Thursday. They are experts at exposure to toxins AND inhalation and skin exposures to metal dusts of all kinds.  At least they can tell me how bad it really is, which has to be better than what I've been imagining.

In the meantime, I thought I'd post some pictures taken by my son on his visit to Phoenix, Arizona last October.

arizona gadwall pair
These beautiful ducks are Gadwalls. I've never seen one (at least, I've never seen one clearly or up close), but I think they're lovely.

This is a gorgeous shot of two American Wigeons.

Look at this crazy bird! This is an American Coot, and I can't wait to see one with my own eyes. How cool is he?

arizona says phoebe
My son must have been thrilled with this Says Phoebe, since he took about 50 pictures of it. Personally, I'm a bit underwhelmed.

arizona domestic geese
Just some domestic geese, but I like the coloring of the one on the right.


  1. Susan, good to see a post. I've been very concerned. I knew something must be up since you weren't posting. How did you get exposed to metal dust? Good luck, I wish you a complete and speedy recovery.

  2. Hope you get better soon Susan. I cannot begin to image the pain you must be in. Great images on the post.

  3. Love your blog & pics -thanks for sharing:)

  4. Susan, how did you manage to get metal dust all over you and into your lungs? Post it as a warning so that others won't do the same. I enjoyed your son's images. Arizona is a birder's paradise!

  5. Thanks, guys. I have to admit to being very scared right now. Hilke, I don't imagine anyone but me could ever be in this situation, but just in case, I'll post a warning:

    Never spend a few weeks in a small room cutting up metal foil, metallic paper, metallic Mylar, etc., while four huge Ionic Breezes are running constantly. The minuscule metal molecules are too small to see, but they will spin around the room in an invisible maelstrom that will cut through eyes and skin like butter. (Obviously, you'll be breathing in the stuff, as well.) If you really want to seal you fate, make sure there is adhesive on every piece of metal foil so you can't ever get rid of it. Top off the experience by decorating everything you made with metallic markers containing xylene, a toxic solvent.

    That's how I poisoned myself, anyway.

  6. Susan, I can't image how you must be feeling but do hope the experts can help with the appropriate relief as soon as possible.
    Love the crazy Coot and the Says Phoebe.

  7. I sure hope you get better soon! what were you making with all that metal?


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