|Pima County has really seen numbers of Crested Caracaras jump. I can't believe how many times I've seen these birds this year. I finally have a shot I can make into a larger photo for the wall.|
All of it ended with a massive heart attack while working outside in his backyard. For the years I knew him, he was a happy man, most of the time:) We found adventure around every corner of their backyard along the river and woods, or while boating on Lake Michigan, or while eating at a restaurant in town....and even while gardening with grandma! Sometimes I hated it because she had a HUGE garden! Even breakfast in the morning was fun because we looked forward to visitors joining us telling us what they were going to do for the day.
I remember sitting that first Christmas without him. Nothing was quite the same again. It was as if life had lost its flavor. The holiday had also died for me on that day. A similar situation happened while standing outside in the snow while I looked into my parent's home at my grandma surrounded by family and relatives. I saw my grandma, dad, his brother, and her niece all standing together. My little sister joined me and I told her to memorize that moment. The following year, my grandma passed away. As a child, I memorized every little space of their home and gardens. The dinner smells, the Sunday drives, the conversations, the games we played.....and the toys in that hallway closet. They were all very special moments
Like most of us, we learn from our families and if we look close enough, there are lessons to be learned from each of our friends, siblings, parents and grandparents. I write about these two individuals because they were some of the people who helped me define how I looked at life. One was looking forward to retiring while the other waited for death to happen. During our weekly conversations, Grandma Rohrer had once told me that living longer than her friends and husband was awful, especially when she couldn't see or use her hands due to arthritis. Four of her favorite past times were reading, cooking, gardening and the thing that isn't quite sewing. Crochet? Anyhow, they both taught me to live life NOW. Sometimes, it may seem in the eyes of others, selfish but I don't want to be on that bed dying regretting not having lived. I became a teacher so that I didn't have to have kids of my own and explore the planet for study. My siblings have more than made up for the nephews and nieces count:)
|My third year of teaching on the island of Santiago in Cape Verde off the coast of West Africa|
|My little sis and I enjoy a fun trek to Rio Dulce in Guatemala|
|In 2008, we hiked the Inka Trail to Machu Picchu|
|I'm super disappointed that I won't be able to see this guy again, Ivan from Gamboa, Panama this year. Maybe next year.|
|Photo by Alan Van Norman; to see how good I am at taking nightjar photos....here's my attempt below! LOL. I've seen these birds a lot, but I never can get this kind of photo:) Nor do I really try. I just like listening to their staccato song.|
Over the past week, I helped a friend with a client who had survived covid. We went to a remote area along the border that requires a bit of security. It was a beautiful evening as we went into the remote canyons far far away from civilization. There we sat under the starry sky and listened to the Buff-collared Nightjar. Absolutely wonderful.
The day before, I was in Ajo with my friend Celeste and Cheroot. We went into the Alamos Canyon area of Organ Pipe and as we exited the canyon, Celeste's vehicle began to experience a really bad grinding sound. A stupid rock got caught between her brakes! We didn't want to do further damage to the vehicle, which I believe it would have done had we kept driving. Thankfully, we were able to flag down some border patrol agents in this very remote area. We did have plenty of food and water with us, thanks to Celeste. Poor Cheroot had a very long day as we were towed back into Tucson.
|Luna helps me unpack my canvas prints from my tropical series from Trinidad and Costa Rica|
|They say Ferruginous Pygmy Owls are all over Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument 😉|
Why pay a million dollars in Texas to go to King's Ranch when you can see much more for free here? Just saying.