It has been a busy 3 weeks for me. I have been to Colorado and back, and to Connecticut and back. In both places I saw friends and family. In both places I counted birds! When I left for Colorado I was at 183 species of birds for the year, far behind what would be normal for me, but this year has been like no other since having surgery last Christmas, then dislocating my shoulder in January and going through 6 months of physical therapy which took up most of my time and left little time for chasing birds. Still, I have managed to squeeze in birding here and there and with my trip to Colorado I was hoping to add enough species to go over the 200 mark. Alas, while I came close, I am still two species away from the 200 mark at 198 species for the year.
I made it to 197 by the time I left Colorado, but added American Widgeon at Plum Island on Friday where I stopped briefly to watch birds. I have not seen an American Widgeon since January 28, 2014 in Arizona right before we moved away.
In the week that I was gone to Colorado most of the leaves turned brown and fell off the trees. The oaks were turning rust and mustard by then, but now even they are dropping from the trees. Soon it will look like winter and we will be glad of the blanket of white to hide this barren landscape.
Being in Colorado was such an eye opener for me. I have not lived there since 1996 and I have not visited since 2012. Being in Longmont and Estes Park reaffirmed my love of the mountains and the west. It is the place where my heart feels most at home. Some people are drawn to the ocean, and indeed I am thankful for this chance to live on the coast for now, but I love the mountains. I will always be a mountain girl!
While in Colorado, my aging zoom lens failed on the last night there. I am currently using Gus’ 18 to 200 mm lens on the D90 while I decide what to do about the camera situation. I am trying to decide if I should just get a new lens, or a whole new camera, since I find the D90 quite heavy to haul around. I already notice the difference in the weight of the shorter lens, but it does not zoom in as far on the birds, so they must be must closer to me for even a decent picture.
I spent last week in Connecticut so I could take my mom to get her other cataract removed. She is looking well and her hair is finally growing in after her chemo earlier this year for her second battle with breast cancer. Mom loves to do puzzles.
While there I counted birds in her yard and anywhere else I could, including going to Harkness Memorial Park while she had her surgery done since it was only 15 minutes away from the surgical center! While there all was peaceful and serene and I counted 15 species of birds, including my first Laughing Gulls for New London County!
I must say that in my current situation, I kind of feel lost. My heart feels torn, for I love my family and I love being near them, but I miss the west. I miss having my own “Nest.”
Still, the beauty of nature surrounds me and I feel thankful for all the different places I have lived in my life and all the people I have met, with many becoming my dear friends. Who knows where we will end up, but for now, I am trying to enjoy the ride and be thankful for all that I have, and all that I have seen! There will be more photos and birds to come, but I just wanted to get caught up!