Monday, April 6, 2015


Black-capped Gnatcatcher on the Proctor Road Trail
Nature is very powerful. It mends all wounds.  It brings balance and centers me.

Lower Madera Canyon
The darker the mood; the more focused I become. Without birds, I would go crazy. The human world is chaos. Instead of running down a trail, I will stand quietly still and listen.  I can move at my own speed and just absorb the bird song or snapping twig. 

The Rose Garden at Reid Park
Noise pollution is my worst enemy.  The rose garden in my nearby neighborhood park is lovely.  You might think this garden was absolutely quiet, but I assure you that it was quite loud!  Everyone including Tía Rosa were out celebrating the holiday weekend.  The air was scented with carne asada and rose blooms.  

The Black-crowned Night Heron at Reid Park
During this past weekend, I went to bird various areas.  It kept my mind occupied as I surveyed three different spots.  One was a fun chase with Magill up in Phoenix.  The second was at Reid Park.  And the third was at Madera Canyon. 

Band-tailed Pigeon at the Santa Rita Lodge in Madera Canyon
I forgot that everything was going to be crowded. However, it wasn't all bad news with the screaming and littering people.  If you think like a bird, you'll know where to find them:) So I listened and followed my ears instead of my eyes.  Before I knew it, I stood alone surrounded by birds. 

Nesting European Starlings at Reid Park
The smell of the roses.  The sounds of water running in the canyon. Blooming trees. Spring=Perfection 

Neotropic Cormorant
When the world becomes too much, I run away to the trails and get lost.  Yes, I am addicted to the outdoors. How can I stand for hours in one spot and not realize how quickly the time passes??!!! I love the Arizona landscape. 

Black-necked Stilt with a rare American Golden-Plover somewhere in Phoenix around a farming pond
My ebird reports are usually quite revealing.  When I hit the "calculate time" button on my phone, I am always shocked by how much time has passed!  It's easy to get lost in the moment. Even worse when you're hanging out with friends!

Black-necked Stilt close up
This weekend allowed me to "air" out my heavy thoughts and feelings.  Today I was much more balanced as I stood in front of my classroom. I smiled at my teenage students listening to their crazy weekend stories keeping my own to myself. I am reminded that it's about the times we share together. It's about making the most of each and every day. And most of all, it's about appreciating the time we have together.


  1. Nature is awonderfulway of healing.Being quiet, stand still, listening to nature, all helps relieve the tension and stress.

  2. Great post, Chris.. Sounds like you are fresh and happy after your bird outings.. Lovely photos and birds. Have a happy week!

  3. beautiful shots!
    love the night heron and the detail on the cormorant!

    nature is the best medicine. it relaxes, centers & balances me too!

  4. A lovely post... many thanks for sharing.

  5. Great way to get centered and balanced.

  6. Great post! Reid Park is indeed a "busy" place (not like Agua Caliente) but you do get to see a great many birds! And I love Madera Canyon so much. I'm glad you are recharging and escaping through your bird watching! Most of the time these days my hubby and I are doing drive-arounds on deserted dirt roads to find birds. Since we can't hike much(especially Russell), it's one way we can both share in the experience. But, I'm not getting the great closeups I long for. I don't even get those when I do a little walking, mostly because my camera is limited. Still, it feels good to slowly drive and LOOK, then stop the car and get my shots. Loved your wonderful photos, as always! Thanks for always encouraging and inspiring me!

  7. Great post Chris - nature can restore and heal and soothe tensions and worries like nothing else. Glad your batteries were recharged with your recent outings.

  8. love that starling shot! i know that i have so much 'quiet' around me that i sometimes take for granted. it is wonderful.

  9. Some of your wording had quite an effect on me Chris, "nature is powerful, noise pollution is an enemy, an addiction to the outdoors and getting lost in the moment", great post, loved it!

  10. fine birds and nature. I especially like the image of the starling. It´s a beautiful photo :)

  11. Great post of putting balance into your life!!!! Yes--there are always ups and downs and STRESS and craziness....BUT--for you (and for me) getting out in nature is the KEY... That is the cure for EVERYTHING... When I was in such pain due to my knee problem --I couldn't get out at all due to all of the ICE we had this winter.. That was so hard for me ---and because of that (and those darn pain pills) I found myself in a deep depression. Scary!!!!

    I think you were a bird in your last life... I must have been a weather person since I'm so interested in weather issues of all kinds.... Crazy....

    When I first glanced at the Cormorant ---I thought it said Neurotic Cormorant..... ha ha

    Love the Stilt picture. WOW--what a gorgeous bird.

    Love the roses.. Can't wait 'til May when ours start blooming.

    Have a great week.

  12. She would have approved of your day, Chris. Best wishes - - - Richard

  13. What was that film called? Oh yes, "The Great Escape". Only in our case Chris it's birds and nature that allow us to forget the sometimes unpleasant, noisy and frantic world we live in.

    Keep them coming. You're a breath of fresh air Chris.

  14. I can lose track of time when I'm out in nature too. Wonderful post and how open of you to share it!

  15. The nesting starling is the pic of the day!
    Thanks Chris for this picture...

  16. There is no better form of therapy than mother nature Chris. I am so glad that she swept all issues away for you Chris, a treasure indeed. :)


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