All in all, I'm satisfied that I have my priorities in life ordered well. Only a few important things interrupt my sleep.
We had a son born too soon who had a tough early go. The first two years of his life I never slept a night through, but would put my hand over his mouth to feel his breath two or three times a night.
That stuff matters.
To a lesser degree, I still thrash awake at least once or twice each fall with a dream of a buck I missed about 20 years ago. It must be important if it still runs untouched through my dream life.
That stuff matters too.
Then there was last night. About 1 a.m., it hit me: hector should be hectare. And I prayed somebody on the copy desk caught it.
In Wednesday's column about Chicago smelt netting, fisheries biologist Steve Robillard gave me some smelt data from the U.S.G.S. in kilograms per hectare. (Only I, like an idiot, heard hector, and didn't catch it until well past deadline.)
In my world that stuff matters enough to wake me too.
So far no reader caught or were all too polite to mention it.
However, on a cheerier note, John Vukmirovich took exception to my description of sandhill cranes making a croaking sound. Another reader, Ken Nieminski had wondered, ''Is it just me, or do others hear so many kids playing 'Marco Polo' whenever the sandhill cranes fly overhead?''
Here's Vukmirovich's take on the sounds made by sandhills.
"I was born, raised, and continue to live in the 10th Ward, near Wolf Lake and the Indiana border, right under the flight-path of thousands of Sandhills. Some years they've come over in waves; in 1995 and 2003 there were literally that many, from just after sunrise to high noon. Major crane events indeed! I can assure you, my good sir, that Sandhills do not croak! Only frogs, toads, and politicians croak. Sandhills kroo!''
I like that: kroo.
Should I eat kroo today?