December 7, 2014: Today is Gus’ birthday. I’ve been married to this man for 37 years and I have never appreciated him more. He doesn’t like birthday cards and I can’t bake him a cake or buy him a present this year, because Thursday night as I was walking across the yard I heard my knee pop and my leg gave out. I managed to walk into the house just fine but as the night wore on my knee got worse and by morning I could not walk. Gus took me to the emergency room at 5:30 AM where they x-rayed my knee and told me I have arthritis. The doctor thinks I may have torn a ligament and I am currently hobbling around on crutches while we wait for my next doctor’s appointment. This means I cannot fill my bird feeders. But, my husband has graciously taken up the task, even though I know it is more work than he wants to do. I have about 8 feeders in my yard, not counting suet feeders. One of them holds meal worms, which the chickadees just love. Of course, the woodpeckers love the suet and I am getting Downys, Hairys, and a single female Red-headed Woodpecker now.
I am sure that after today he thinks I am nuts, but he knows that if he doesn’t do it, I will be out in the snow with my crutches trying to do it myself! Still, one of my feeders really had him stumped, but he finally figured it out!
We are quite the pair, the two of us. And we have had lots of adventures together. Because of Gus, I have had the opportunity to travel all over the United States. This has allowed me to see so many birds in so many different places. Gus is not into birds like I am, but he does love nature and he does love adventure and he does love me. Gus use to love photography as well, and so, while I was photographing birds, he use to photograph whatever interested him. But a few years ago his vision started to deteriorate and he can no longer see the fine details enough to make photography fun for him. So, today’s post is a tribute to my husband and his patience with me and my birds. It is my way of thinking him. It is my online birthday card for him. Almost all the following photographs were taken by him when he could see better. It is his view of the world and of me. And yes, there are birds!
Phoenix January 2010
In January of 2010 Gus and I drove into Phoenix to see a performance of Riverdance, which was a Christmas Gift from my son and his wife. After the matinee we drove to the Rio Saludo Project just a few miles south where Gus and I took a walk and counted and photographed birds. I just realized I never posted these photos as my computer crashed at that time. These are Gus’ pictures from that day.
This is the one that got away from me. Gus kept telling me he saw a different warbler, but I ignored him, thinking it was yet another yellow-rumped warbler. It wasn’t until we offloaded his photos that I saw the bird he was talking about. By then it was too late and I missed my opportunity to see and record a Back and White Warbler in Maricopa County!
Oklahoma, March 2010
Bosque del Apache, NM March 2010
Roosevelt Lake, AZ June 2010
Cochise County, Arizona, August 2010
Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts, January 2011
The Salton Sea, November 2012
In November of 2012 Gus surprised me by planning a trip to the Salton Sea for Thanksgiving. We had just moved back to Tucson and I was looking forward to spending the holiday with our oldest son, but who could pass up a trip to the Salton Sea? Neither one of us knew what to expect, except we envisioned something a little more sophisticated. The Salton Sea is actually very remote and rural in a very depressed part of California. But oh, the BIRDS! There were so many and we had one of the best adventures of our lives! While I have posted my pictures and photos of this trip before, I just recently offloaded Gus’ pictures. All of these are his.
Happy Birthday Gus!
…before we sail off into the sunset!