Once there was a time when I gazed over the waters like this boy in the photo above. For me, water was the gateway to inspiration and my imagination. I felt safe watching the waves crash over the cement sidewalk leading up to our local lighthouse. The cold spray would stab my face like tiny ice needles. In my mind, the waters of Lake Michigan went on forever but I knew they touched another shore on the opposite side. Was it so different? What would I find?
|Mississippi Kite-discovering new things is amazing|
"3rd Star to the right, straight on til morning". And in the morning the vessel would reach the shores of Michigan. I sat on my Wisconsin pier wondering what was out there. Some day I would reach that Michigan shore. Some day. How it would happen was still a mystery......that was the future and too far away to waste thought on. I was about to leave for college. I had to get out of my small town quick or I'd fear I'd get "stuck".
Today when I return home, I don't see it that way at all. It was just me being impatient. Today that trip to the other side will happen on that same ferry. There I will meet my park ranger/college friend Kristen and we'll discover the Kirtland's Warbler together. We took so many epic road trips together before life got in the way. Now tell me birding isn't exciting??!!! Friends, magic trips and BIRDS!
|My parent's place perfectly captures the essence of comfort....home.|
|Just beyond the rocks, what will Kathie find?|
|Gaelyn exposes us to magnificence of the Grand Canyon around the North Rim. I love her stories and I am very grateful for her friendship even though we are far apart.|
These people are some of the most exciting and fun adventurers I know. I genuinely smile and love listening to their stories for they are my inspiration. Yes. I found inspiration again. Stand on the pier. Wonder. Or wonder no more. Just do something about it!
|Birders who make me smile....Barb and Melanie=love!|
We meet for a beer. We marvel at a blooming cactus. We suffer bug bites together. We stand together and ponder the great and wild dynamics of Mother Nature.
|Intense birders? Yes. We four often go rogue or will pair up with others. These three birders are known as Gordon, Magill and Tommy. Passion or an addiction? Hard to tell with this crew:) Pic courtesy of Tommy D|
|Barrel Cactus blooming|
|Nectar feeding bats|
|Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge, AZ|
|Sydney and Annie|
|The team from Tucson Audubon...Jennie, Sara, Matt, Tim and Corey|
|The Celeste. We walk up a beautiful trail on Mt. Lemmon looking at all kinds of wonderful things|
|Janet visits Tucson from New Mexico and helps us keep track of our grassland sparrows!|
|Jason educates the crowd and how sparrows track predators from the grasses and avoid becoming lunch|
|Over the course of this year, I've met up with Jarrod several times around the state. He reminds me to live in the moment and look around.|
|This is a fun crew! Kathie, Donna and Dawn pose for Birders Who Blog, Tweet and Chirp|
|Our North Rim trek to the canyon introduces us to the extended birding AZ crew. Amazing people just living life and helping out our feathered friends|
|Rich Hoyer gets help from another type of birder. Together we scour our midtown neighborhood searching for rarities while counting birds for the CBC(Christmas Bird Count)|
|Linda(far right with that awesome birdy sweater) whips up some delish Pisco Sours. I hadn't had one of those in years!!!|
Old advice rings in my older ears. It wasn't meant to be forever. You just made it that way. You have become set in your ways. Playing it safe. My mother even said it to me once. "You're just like your father. Afraid to take risks." And she was right.
|Quite often I go alone or with Micheal. I love those kinds of treks a lot.|
How can something like this happen? Something so incredible. Something so amazing. It's such a big feeling. I often feel stuck.....no stranded....in the details. An indentured servant to my old self. My own fault. Thanks to these birders/trackers/herpers/wildlife lovers, they've reminded me to live again and celebrate this journey.
|This pic courtesy of Tommy D. I like this one of us. We had such a fun time on this trek.|
Years later, I am back at the pier watching the ferry cross again. I find myself not wondering what I'll discover on the other side but how I'm going to get there because I missed the first departure!
A special thank you goes out to all the birders this year who have shared in the grand adventure. As birder friend Linda pointed out last weekend, if we hadn't been birding together, we may have missed the Pectoral Sandpiper. Instead we pushed each other to wade through all the sandpipers on the lake. And it's like that. A birder encourages the other to do better. Together we can accomplish anything.
|This is another great crew! Photographers, birders, wildlife trackers and people who care about protecting our environment in the US and Mexico! L to R Mary Ann, Linda, Michael, and Kathy|
Someone once said, "Life is meant to be experienced. Put yourself out there. Do things you've never done. Live a life where at the end, you will have no regrets." I have always lived my life this way, and it would be void of meaning without all the wonderful people in the picture. Some people cross paths once. Others, over and over again. And just like the birds we hope to discover, we also realize our own inherent uniqueness in this great big complex world. Also a special thank you to my readers who follow, read or comment on Las Aventuras. You, whether you know it or not, also push me to do better with my writing and photography. Thank you! Perhaps one day we'll meet?:)
There's still so much work to be done:) To meet others who love birds just as much as we do, check out Wild Bird Wednesday.