Sunday, September 1, 2013

Just a Year Ago…

1. backyard-kab Tucson backyard 9-5-2012

Just over a year ago my friend Kathryn and I set off on an epic journey across the United States with two cats and a dog. Kathryn had volunteered to help me drive my car and my pets from Andover, MA to our new home in Tucson, AZ. At the time I was reluctant to go. My mom had just come through breast cancer surgery and chemo and radiation. I had grown to like being near my family on the east coast and did not want to leave them, but my husband had a job transfer once again and so, for the ba-jillionth time in our 36 years of marriage, I was following him once again. I guess it was foretold when I chose John Denver’s song, “Follow me where I go” as the song we marched down the aisle to after we were married!

2. family-kab Here’s Mom with two of my brothers just before we left. 8-17-12

Her hair had just started to grow back.

3. Misquamicuit-kab August 17, 2012: Kathryn and I went swimming and birding at Misquamicuit Beach in Rhode Island before we left! Who knows when I will ever see this horizon again. And, No! There are no bathing suit pictures!


4. tappan Zee Bridge-kab August 22, 2012 Crossing the Tappan Zee Bridge into New Jersey.


5. maryiland-kab August 22, 2012: After a long day of driving we stopped at Fort Frederick in Maryland to rest and count birds! This was my first bird count ever in this state! We saw 21 species here, including Pileated Woodpeckers! We added 1 more species, a Common Nighthawk, at Rocky Gap State park where we stopped to view the scenery at dusk.

6. sunset-kab Sunset in Maryland as we head towards Rocky Gap 8-22-12


7. WV highway-kab August 23, 2012 On the road in West Virginia.

Up and down, up and down, around a curve, then up and down…

8. WV rest area-kab Very tired Kathryn walking Blossom at WV Rest area 8-23-13


9. kentucky-kab My granddaughter, Natalie in Kentucky 8-24-13


10. Ft. donaldson, Tennessee August 25, 2012 Ft. Donaldson, Tennessee. We stopped here to count birds.


11. WT deer Ft. donaldson-kab White-tailed deer at Ft. Donaldson 8-25-13


12. redheaded woodpecker  Omaha, TX-kab August 26, 2012 Red-headed Woodpecker in Omaha, TX!

13. Scissor-tailed flycatcher Texas rest area August 26, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher at Colorado City Rest Area in Texas

14. rain near Odessa, texas-kab Texas Rain 8-26-12

15. rainbow near odessa, Texas Texas Rainbow 8-26-12

16. Odessa, Texas-kab On the road to Midland, TX 8-26-12

17. rest area west Texas-kab August 27, 2012 West Texas Rest Area

This is just one of the many rest areas we stopped at and counted birds as well as “resting.” We saw our first Broad-tailed Hummingbird of the trip here!

18. houghton rd. exit-kab August 27, 2012 Exit 281 for Houghton Road in Tucson!

19. bird feeder-kab I quickly got a thistle seed sock and hung it on this wild tobacco tree in the backyard. I have more sophisticated bird feeders now and this “tree” died this summer and fell down during a monsoon storm just last week!

20. roses-kab Backyard Roses 9-5-12


21. birdwatching perch-kab Balcony Birdwatching Perch 9-5-12

Since Moving here a year ago I have counted 59 species of birds from this yard! My newest addition was an osprey I saw flyover on August 30th in the morning!

22. bird nest-kab But I should have known this would be a good birdwatching yard when I found this mourning dove in its nest up in the porch rafters!

23. lego-kab

5 days, 12 states, and 2673 miles, and 1 year later

Thanks, Kathryn!

I couldn’t have done it without you!


  1. An epic journey with some lovely birds and skies. I hope your mother is doing well. It is hard leaving family in those circumstances, but at least you are in the same country, and obviously have good friends.

    1. Happy Wanderer, Mom is doing very well, thank you. I have a wonderful family and fantastic friends! I feel very blessed!

  2. What a fun trip! So glad you made your way back here again with the Gus! Birding across the states sounds like my kind of vacation:)

    1. Chris, it was a blast but went by too fast and we could not go far from the car because we had the pets.

  3. Certainly was an epic journey Kathie. Your Mum looks well.
    Its no fun moving about the country like you have. I have had a similar experience for most of my adult life so I know what its like. Hopefully you can settle now.?
    Aside from bird spotting you also took some nice scenery. Shame about there being no bathing suit images though.{:))
    Kathryn is a great friend indeed and not many would do what she did for you.
    One super Lady.

    1. Roy, my husband is a gypsy at heart so I'm still not sure where we are going to settle. I thought you'd like the comment about the bathing suits. Believe me, Kathryn looks better in one than I do! But I am the dolphin and I stayed in the water longer than she did! And you are right, Kathryn is a great friend!

  4. HI Kathie As Roy said above, an fantastic epic journey but what a lot to see on the way. Loved the deer and Woodpecker

    1. Margaret, it was such fun and much better than flying on a plane with my old pets!

  5. Epic journey for sure! Enjoyed every bit of it, even being tired. The year has gone by way too fast!

    1. Kathyrn, it sure has! Glad you were able to do this with me. Great memories!

  6. @Roy, you are too funny! And, thanks!

    1. Like I said above, Kathryn looks better in a bathing suit than I do!

  7. I remember following you across the country on this epic bird journey. And now you once again settled into AZ. You'll go back east again.

  8. What a lovely recap of your journey Kathie. Thank you for taking us along again. The photo with your mom and brothers was lovely and she looked great. I do hope she's doing well now. What a great friend you have in Kathryn.

  9. Kathie, wonderful post on your journey. I enjoyed the photos of your mom and friend and from your stops along the way. Great post, happy birding!

  10. Wow, has it been a year already? Time flies.

    Your amazing journey made me smile Kathie, great company, open roads and birds. What a delightful recipe for a part of the journey of your life.


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.