|Nine Pine Motel in Pinetop-Lakeside|
|migrating Calliope Hummingbird|
|the West Baldy Trail-can you see the Great Blue Heron on top?|
Quite honestly, it scares me to have these feelings. Everyone needs to take a break, right? The White Mountains were exactly what I needed to help put things into perspective. I've been on the road for most of the summer and it's time to slow down now.
|A stock photo from my trek to Valparaiso, Chile back in the 90's. BB(Before Birding)|
People check off lists and then talk about the next bird they need to check off their list. They speak ABA crazy nonsense. I wasn't careful and I got sucked into the "game". I have been so caught up with all the Arizona birding politics and games that I've forgotten my true purpose. To seek out new birds. An attempt at the 10,000 life bird promise. All this other stuff has stressed me out. Birding isn't supposed to stress a person out. And my inner gypsy is starting to emerge again:) It's almost time to let Arizona go.
|Woodland Lake Park in Pinetop-Lakeside|
We got into our car afterwards and just drove through the forest with our windows down. I couldn't really articulate to Micheal how I was feeling. I just wanted to be alone and figure it all out on my own. I read reports about birders in Costa Rica and on the Andes Mountains.....and on far away pelagics. And my mind wandered. Why should I spend money and revisit the same birds I've already seen so many times? I think it's because I love them.
When I began birding with my friend Kathie Brown, it was simple. I was no one. As I began to bird more, I discovered this hunger for more knowledge, more study, and more travel. And with it, I became part of the birding community. I do love my "peeps" and I am so glad to have been adopted into this larger community of birders.
|juvenile Lewis's Woodpecker|
|Juvenile American Crow|
As I chronicle my life journey into birding, I am finding that there are indeed "ups and downs" when it comes to finding birds. I am currently at a "low" point, but I'm sure as the weather cools down, I'll be back on track again. I can't believe I'm writing this but I'm happy that work is starting up again. It'll keep my mind busy with other matters and allow me to take a break from the birding. And recharge my batteries:) I'm also working on other "birdy" projects which I'm excited to present within the next several months. It's a first for the state and once again, I can thank my teaching background for the inspiration behind the project. When I hit a wall, I'll invent something interesting to keep challenging myself. For now, I've made my name disappear from these silly Top 100 lists. For now, it's all about sound and thoughtful birding. The way it USED to be! I've added an additional job to help fund my next treks for the winter, spring and summer seasons. It should be fun. Some hard work with some hard play! For now, it's taking it slow. Until next time....
This write is in memory of Dr. George West who monitored the Greer and Pinetop-Lakeside areas. In fact, he was still alive during the time of trip.