|This Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay isn't stupid. The bird is waiting for a handout in the tourist heavy Garden of the Gods|
I love the idea of road trips, but as I'm getting older, I don't have the patience to sit for 11 hours in a vehicle like I used to. That is the amount of time it takes to get from Tucson to Colorado Springs IF you don't make long stops. And how can a birder pass up such fantastic birding hotspots like Bosque Del Apache?! I like to meander to my final destination spot.
|Orion is a human beaver hybrid|
|During a stroll in a nearby cemetery, I enjoy watching Fox Squirrels chase each other around the grounds.|
I like to take things slow and I needed to take a break. My body has been healing and I didn't want to overdo it. So there were two requirements. If I took my car Betty to Colorado, we needed to stay an evening in Socorro, close to Bosque El Apache. I needed that moment when the sun began to set and the birds began to fly over our heads to put myself together. No matter how many times I see it, it never gets old. The video below is just one moment from a long one I had while watching the miracle of Sandhill Cranes and other waterfowl fly over my head.
The following morning we left Socorro for Colorado Springs, but we stopped in Pecos, New Mexico for breakfast. And at this cozy restaurant, we saw the most beautiful holiday tree. I sat sipping my coffee next to the fire trying to memorize all the details of that gorgeous tree. Those are the moments from a road trip that I enjoy.
|Sometimes I'd love to shrink myself and get lost in the majesty of a holiday tree like Chip and Dale did in that Christmas special so many decades ago.|
|Poor Bee Bee. She's not a lap dog at all.|
|A Cackling Goose comes in for a landing|
|An easy ID for this Cackling Goose, a white line at the base of the short neck, dark back, short bill, square head makes it perfect for the Richardson's subspecies.|
|Cackling Geese are easy to pick out when next to their larger relatives, the Canada Goose. This Richardson's subspecies is about a third of the size of the related Canada Goose|
|The Richardson's Cackling Goose is the main subspecies to winter in Colorado. It is possible to find Taverner's mixed in with this group. Source: Utah Birds|
There's a great place to bird near Colorado Springs in the town of Fountain. It's a lovely preserve that goes along a river. During our walk we discovered that beavers had been busy. We also had a Great Horned Owl fly out from the trees over our heads.
My nephew Orion finds an old wasp's nest. I spy my first-of-the-year(FOY) American Robin.
Now I've taken you all there once or twice before, but it's impossible not to enjoy these spaces over and over again.
I personally like the gift shop there. They have affordable art to hang on your walls and a fun restaurant where you can enjoy the beautiful outside. And it was there, I added my first 2020 Townsend's Solitaire!
We had a lovely time. It seems to speed up when we are there. I also noticed my pain was gone for most of our visit. Strange but it was a nice break from my side aches.
Honestly, I don't know what this year will bring. I've left much of it open. I have visitors coming to go birding with me and I am really looking forward to spending some great time outdoors showing them my beautiful part of the world. If and I mean IF, this body gets back on track, I am organizing treks to Florida, the Darien Gap in Panama, and on the big island of Hawaii (or O'ahu). For now, I look forward to peaceful weekends with my cats in the catio, a nice stroll close to home, and doing some work in my garden. Until next time....