Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Rush Hour


Maybe I'm not the only one.  Before any major trip, I have a hard time sleeping.  Will I find my target birds?  What if it rains? How do I balance my time between family, friends and birds??!!!  It's never any easy thing to negotiate.

Cochise Lake in Willcox

I'll put hours into planning and research. It's truly detective work.  Birding during the trips is quite relaxing and enjoyable, but my problem is keeping track of time when I'm outdoors.  I love being outside so much.  Before birds, I thought time moved quickly.  Now by adding birds into my life, everything moves faster!!!

Scaled Quail

As I write this, it's the end of monsoon.  I cannot go outdoors without heatstroke or being attacked by mosquitoes.  I NEED to be outdoors.  My life from 9 to 5 is difficult.  If I don't get outside, everything becomes chaotic and I become anxious.  After work, I go home, eat, read and go to bed early because there is nothing else I can do. My job is stressful and I have found nature counters the stress and makes it bearable.  I look forward to the freezing cold temps in my vest and beanie. Soon.  Very soon.

Northern Cardinal

To occupy my mind until temps cool down, I plan areas to bird both inside and outside of the state.  They of course are within budget but have an agenda.  Birding with others is fun, but you can't always count on them.  Each birder has their own agenda. Ultimately, it's a personal journey that many times has to be done alone.

Roses at a friend's house

There are many things that can influence a birding party. Some compete.  Some chase and twitch.   For some, money dictates the outing.  For others, it's about their comfort zone and safety.  And for others, it's about the social aspect surrounding the birds.  All of these things factor into my own life. I love the restaurants and experiences that go along with it all.

Variegated Fritillary 
Going out into the field is like an addiction.  We were in New Mexico at Caballo Lake State Park and looked up to find White American Pelicans gracefully in flight.  Above the grassy desert along a stream, we found these incredible birds in flight......and time stopped.  WOW!  It was hot and sunny and these birds gently spun around like a school of fish in water. And we did arrive late to Colorado Springs because of this stop, but it was worth it.  I remembered, "It's not about the destination, it's about the journey."  If you think New Mexico is for the birds, you are correct.  Take an exit off of their interstate system and you'll discover the incredible beauty of this state.

American White Pelicans!

When I step back from it all....from the competitive nature of people....or that personal need to get that perfect and sometimes unattainable ID photo of a lifebird......when I step back from it all......I can relax like I did when I first began birding not so long ago.

New Mexico landscape-reminds me of the Lone Ranger


18 comments:

  1. That pic with the clouds is exceptionally kool. What's need is seeing summer monsoon clouds like that at night with a full moon.

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  2. Chris, I love the Cochise Lake shot. For me, it is the journey. The whole experience-friends, birds, sights, sounds, food, and exhaustion. When out with Kathie, I get caught up in her excitement which enriches the journey as well. Amazing how time flys!

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  3. Your photo of the lake is stunning!
    You could lose time just taking in this beautiful sight.When I'm painting I often lose all sense of time,... it's wonderful!

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  4. Hi Chris I will say ditto to Kathryn's comment regarding birding. the first shot is stunning

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  5. I love the first and the last, they are superb Chris.

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  6. i hope you can just sit back and enjoy more often.

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  7. Beautiful photos, Chris! The first sky shot is awesome. And I love the pelicans in flight. If all goes well, hubby and I will be visiting New Mexico very soon. I hope to see some of these great birds. I wish I could slow time down on the weekends they seem to fly by. Happy birding!

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  8. Very soon you'll be in a cold environment seeking birds. And I'll try to shut up so you can. Now go to bed.

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  9. I'll see you very soon my friend:) We are thrilled and have our electric blankets ready to go:)

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  10. I love most the first and last photo, that says a lot about me!But i also like how you described everything about you in this post. I can't imagine that someone like you, so seasoned in travelling still gets the jitters before a trip!

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  11. Great post Chris and what beautiful photos especially the first and last - stunning :)

    The natural world be it birds or moths or butterflies or indeed any species helps me deal with stress too. It can provide total escapism and allow you to forget your problems for a while :)

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  12. I'm sure many of us share your thoughts and issues mentioned in the first part of this post, and we all try to work around it! I like the butterfly photo especially as I have been seeing some beautiful ones in Queensland this last couple of days, but they have moved too fast to photograph, so you did well to get such a pleasing one.

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  13. Chris, I think I almost wrote that - the sleepless nights, the expectation, the research and planning. Enjoy every minute of it you know it makes sense.

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  14. Przykro mi , ze pogoda nie sprzyja Twoim obserwacjom ptaków. Ale to minie :). Masz piekne zdjęcie z motylem. Pozdrawiam.
    I am sorry that the weather is not conducive to your observations of birds. But it will pass :). You have a beautiful picture of a butterfly. Yours.

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  15. Beautiful photos. I add you to my friends :)

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  16. Chris, that final photo is spectacular and you are so right!

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