Monday, March 23, 2020

The Planet Covid 19

Painted Lady
During this first true week of the pandemic in Arizona, I have seen great acts of kindness balanced with great acts of rudeness.  I have seen things written and said that are hateful on both sides. A divided nation.  Angry millennials telling the boomers that they deserve what they get and that essentially this disease is the "boomer remover". Here's the thing. Whether I agree or not with this older generation, I still love many of them. My parents are boomers.  Some of my best friends are boomers.  If anything happened to them, I'd be sad.  If anything happened to anyone close to me, I'd be sad. We are a divided nation with divided generations and a virus that doesn't care who you are. It's a scary time.  I look back at my life and just scratch my head.  So much has happened, but never have I had this experience! Home is my headquarters. Kinda....:)

Anna's Hummingbird
I have drawn deeper into myself this past week calling upon nature to heal.  And so have many other people; sometimes dangerously too close to one another.  Everyone says get out in nature, but people think, at least here, that if they are in nature and in close proximity that they won't be affected. Wrong!  As a birder, I know secret spaces where I can have a whole canyon to myself or a patch of grassland free of humanity.  It's really not as easy as you think.  Now that children have no school, they are off the leashes and some parents are letting them scare off the wildlife!

Common Black Hawk
The Tubac Hawk Watch was called off several days ago because many birders were congregating there to watch the amazing hawk show.  I did well and socially distanced myself from the crowds.  But some birders were jokingly doing high fives with their elbows and then hugged.  It's very human and beautiful.  And we forget.  "Certainly, he or she doesn't have the Covid(Corvid to birders) 19 virus.", we think. And let's face it.  Much of the birding crowd is over 60.  One infected person and BOOM! Gone. Wiped out. I'd hate to see that happen.  The hawk watch was shutdown by the town of Tubac.  Now secretly,in fear of fines or arrest, we walk the trails and look up at the skies in solitude pretending we're not looking for hawks in the sky above Tubac:) Hide the binos!

I've been personally connecting with spaces.  And friends in town.  This past weekend, we hiked 2 miles into the quiet Willow Canyon of the super crazy and busy Mt. Lemmon.  The snow on the road kept vehicles from driving into the canyon and that was a clue for us to explore.  We had snow and a beautiful running stream without human people screaming and shouting around us.  Perfection.  

female Cassin's Finch
Along the riparian corridors, clouds pose as jellyfish in the sky. 

A Common Black Hawk flies above our heads and we smile.  Migration is inspiration.  

The moon is a wonder in the daylight. 

Spring flowers bloom in the thousands.  The Anna's Hummingbird comes to feed in his territory. 

I look across the pond of a local preserve and observe Great Egrets hunting for fish.  Desert Bluebells and California Poppies begin their dazzling shows here. 

A Black-tailed Gnatcatcher dances around several wildflowers and gleans insects from the foliage. 

I go during the off times at a popular wetlands in Tucson and quietly observe everything around me.  The warblers are back!

Birds carry on as a serious pandemic takes hold in many countries. 

Common Gallinule
I scan the reeds and notice that one of the reeds is looking back at me. 

American Bittern
I drive out to a far away place for a rare bird.  I drive through miles and miles of wildflowers blanketing the Sonoran desert. It's the quiet that I need now. I need time to think. We are in the eye of a storm.  The crazy is about to begin and virus takes hold of the West.  Tonight, Pima County had its first Coronavirus death. 

I've seen people pay it forward.  We've witnessed someone giving the last loaf of bread to an elderly man who cried.  Someone at our produce market paid for 50 people to get food to their families. I almost had a tear in my eye until I saw an old granny vaping and blowing the vape in our directions.  Everyone around her was like, "What the hell lady?"  Social distancing was not happening.  

Northern Beardless Tyrannulet
And hey! I'm okay with ordering food every night to help support local restaurants.  That might be the worst silver lining ever:)  

Lucy's Warbler
Have hope.  Be safe.  Be smart.  And be kind to each other. Below is a video that made me laugh.  But warning....there is language. Until next time.....


  1. Those Anna's hummingbirds are so beautiful. Spring migration is underway here creating a sense of normalcy. Despite the human issues the natural world still carries on as always.

    1. Agreed! The natural world is an amazing place. And as WE ARE finding out....dangerous:)

  2. Your photos are just stunning! I appreciate these creatures and scenery that you have in you world.
    I have to believe that there is much good going on in the world and that people are helping each other out. I am a hermit by nature, so isolation is not a big deal for me; I do pray that those that aren't will have the strength to overcome the urge to go out and socialize.

    I'm so happy you are a part of 'My Corner of the World' this week!

    My Corner of the World

    1. Thank you for hosting again. I like being a hermit. It's rather enjoyable:)

  3. Love, love, love your gorgeous photos!

    Happy Wednesday!

    1. Happy Thursday to you! And thank you:) Stay healthy!

  4. Wonderful photos to lift the spirits in these difficult times, Chris - thank you! I hope you and Micheal are staying safe and well. We've been on total lock-down (not left the house) since July 16, and are quarantining everything that we take in. So far we have managed to get sufficient food to keep us alive - fingers are crossed! Now going to strive to be a garden (back-yard in your parlance) naturalist - and if it gets boring I might even leave the 'al' out (only joking).

    Take great care and stay well - - - Richard

    1. "July 16"?! - that should have been "March 16"!

    2. LOL! I understood what you meant. But secretly, I think you may have locked yourself up early. You've been caring for your wife so it probably feels that way!

  5. Great post. As soon as people start saying the the virus has some 'purpose' I tune out - the virus simply is, and we need to deal with it. Birding from my garden for a while will be my contribution to dealing with it!

    Hope all is well - Stewart M - Melbourne

    1. We do! It has been fun working from my garden here. Stay well.


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