I must now shamefacedly admit that I did not recognize a goldfinch. Or, I did recognize it but it didn't look quite right and so I doubted myself. Thanks for the identification, Dana at Principled Discovery! Who knew these birds had winter foliage? I guess my inability to recognize acquaintances out of their "natural" environment extends to birds. Does anyone else dread running into people they know at the grocery store because they won't be able to place where they know them from?
My hubby and I first met at a juggling club in the city. Or rather, we met at the Chinese restaurant the jugglers went to after the juggling club. At that time he worked at the Renaissance festival on the weekend and he offered his last pair of comps to me. (Anyone who missed this story can find it in the tag link for Incurable Romantics.) I remember when I first spotted him at the festival. I looked, I thought it was him, but whether it was the costume or the setting, I just wasn't SURE. Luckily, he doesn't have the same affliction, or we never would have talked to each other that day. I don't think he realizes that some of my more intense gazes the first few times we were together had a lot to do with me trying to memorize what he looked like.
Back in the grocery store, I try to give my brain more time to place the person by avoiding eye contact. If they do happen to notice me, or (horrors) see me first and say hello, I will start with the small talk and listen for clues. This is a good reason to have children, by the way. Many times I've said hello to people and never figured out where I knew them from. Marina usually knows. If not, Chase does. All together we make one fine memory. I'm not sure about Sierra. She still doesn't worry about learning names.
To prove that I should second guess myself, the few times I have stepped up and said hello, I realized that the stranger was not who I thought it was. Or I was mistaken about the name. Or I didn't know them from the library, I knew them from church. I could go on.
So if you happen to notice me somewhere, out of the corner of your eye, and I duck behind the next aisle or a tree, please don't take it personally. I'm just trying to figure out why I know you.
And I'm going to get another bird identification book. Something that includes fall foliage....male and female photos....several different perspectives....holographic images.... That way, the next time I spot a new bird, I think I'll be almost positive I might know what it is!