Sunday, March 15, 2020

A Novel Approach

Costa's Hummingbird
With a global pandemic upon us all, the Covid-19 virus has really turned everything upside down. Spring break has been extended until the end of the month for students. I don't think I've wrapped my head around all of it yet. 

A beautiful walk.  No people.  Just nature. 
Last week I prepped my work to go out of the classroom with my students in case we have to go online. Of course no one told us to do this, but common sense told me to prepare for the inevitable. 

Inca Dove
In Tucson, it's more of a blessing than a curse. Warm weather. Great outdoor scene. Migration happening.  What's not to love? One. I get to be home every day during migration? What??!! Two. It's the nicest time of year here so do I work on house projects or bird?  Three. Cancelled events that bring in way too many people to Tucson?! YES! Thank you corona! And sports have been cancelled?  That's like the cherry on top of the sundae! What will people do with their free time?  Hopefully get out and reflect.  Take a nice hike or bike and go somewhere wonderful in nature. 

A rare Townsend's Solitaire
And my garden!  I can work on my garden!  

Rufous-winged Sparrow
Sadly, yet smartly, my friends from Wisconsin cancelled their trek to Arizona.  It sucks.  I was looking forward to their visit, but I completely understand.  I would have done the same thing. Being on a plane or cruise is just plain dumb right now.  Even after telling my students about the dangers, they still went to Italy, Hawaii and elsewhere.  Now they are having a nightmare of a time getting back.  No one listens to the teacher.  I give them an "F" for not listening to my lectures. The congestion in the airport alone would make me go mad.  And the exposure rate is MUCH greater. Yikes.   

a nesting Cactus Wren
I am bothered that there isn't any toilet paper available in the stores.  And if you have someone who always uses up the last toilet paper roll in the house and doesn't tell you, like my other half, then it makes it even worse!  We had to go to 4 stores to find ONE package of toilet paper!

Pipevine Swallowtail
I guess being a bird has its advantages.  They don't need toilet paper.  This virus has put a hold on everyone's lives.  Birders have had trips cancelled. But in a way, I'm thankful for this time out.  It really forces us to appreciate the beauty around us.  I actually got drunk from the sunshine over the past couple days. If this is what it's like to be retired, I'm all for it. 

Gila Woodpecker in nest
We had rains last week and the ground is nice and soft to put in new plants for the year.  

Black-throated Gray Warbler
Warblers, hawks, vireos and other birds are making their move north. Never in my career have I been given 2 weeks to linger around the natural corridors of Arizona at free will.  It's kind of a gift. I can sleep in late if I want. 

Stay safe. Be smart. And enjoy the solitude if you can.  Spring is here and the birds are moving north.  It'll certainly take your mind off of things.  

It doesn't matter where you are.  Nature is there. Until next time. 


  1. Hello, Chris! I hope you stay well, it is great to have an extra two weeks to do whatever. Being outside walking, birding or gardening are all wonderful. I would love to see the Black-throated Gray Warbler, what a beauty! Love the Butterfly, beautiful photos. Enjoy your break and take care. Have a great week ahead!

    1. It's a mixed blessing for sure. I'll teach from home. The previous week I was working like a mad man to get everything online for the kids to prepare for Plan B even though I wasn't given the directive to do so. But I've been in the business long enough to recognize the severity of the situation. Teacher intuition:)

  2. A wonderful set of images - really really beautiful. Enjoy nature in your extended holiday and stay safe and take care.

  3. There is always a silver lining if you look for it. Your photos are beautiful especially of the hummingbird and butterfly. Enjoy your newly found time.

    1. Very true. I'm going to get lots of work done around here:) Well that is the plan.

  4. Hi Chris. Over here us oldies, especially those with underlying health issues like my wife, are being advised to self-isolate. We got back from a vacation on the Isles of Scilly late on Monday and felt the need to go into immediate lock-down. The main problem was that we had a virtually empty larder and it's a problem getting a food delivery (typically 2-3 weeks wait) due to everyone panic-buying. At least we have enough toilet paper to last us for a couple of weeks!

    Until this is all over, I'm going to have to rely on the birds in my back yard, and the delightful blogs of other people, such as yours, to keep my spirits up. Thank you for the uplift!

    My very best wishes to you and Micheal. Be careful and stay safe - - - Richard

    1. Hello! Lock down is a good idea. It has just begun to take hold here. It's a weird new reality waking up every day with this virus. It's scary. I called my Dad to remind him to be careful as well as he just had his heart surgery last year. Do take care and I hope your neighbors might be able to help you out. It's such a stressful time here. Just shopping alone is something else. We will go to online to cut out people. I am constantly wiping everything down. And now I'm teaching out of my office online. It'll actually be a fun challenge.

    2. Stay safe and be well. Hugs to you both as well. These are challenging times for sure.

  5. Our government declared a partial lockdown just a couple of days ago after a spike in cases. I never thought it would happen to us!

    I am praying hard that this nightmare will be behind us soon.

    Stay safe!

  6. You're definitely making good use of your down time--these are some wonderful images!

    Thanks for your contribution to 'My Corner of the World' this week!

    My Corner of the World

  7. Super pictures! Love the dove and the little bird nesting in the cactus!

  8. Glad you’re enjoying your “early retirement” ... it’s not a bad place to be at all, that’s for sure! And someone told me the virus dies in fresh air ....I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I think I’ll choose to believe it. ... stay well, keep enjoying those wonderful birds.


Thanks for stopping by!