Best. Day. Yet.
Life is never better for me than after a trip with LOTS of birds and dear friends!
I have SO much to say and so little time to say it….
But here’s a post I drafted on the plane ride home Monday followed by a busy week of soccer, baseball games, viola lessons, and finals for my class….. I’m FINALLY getting a chance to post it!
“The last 5 days went by in a flash.. and here I sit on the plane ride home….smiling, exhausted, fulfilled and exhilarated.
Well, now it’s time to play ‘catch up’. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity with my trip to Florida, a BIG snowstorm here in the northeast and the start to the spring semester for my new environmental science class. All fun for me!
Florida was fabulous! The Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival was a hit on SO many levels! I had a great time working with Wildside Nature Tours to bring incredible birds together with equally amazing people! I led 5 straight days of field trips for the festival and truly had a blast! Each trip and its guides and participants were unique. Everyone was engaged and made it such a rewarding time for me. It’s always so much fun reconnecting and leading trips with old friends and colleagues and meeting lots of new friends too!
Here are some highlights:
My flight home was cancelled on Sunday due to “Snowzilla”. We had 30″ of snow blanket our home in Maryland! As I was fretting and wringing my hands about my cancelled flight and the possibility that I might actually MISS my FIRST class of the spring semester/my new job (eeek!)… Skye, seabird counter extraordinaire, looked me square in the eyes and with his jovial smile said one word to me.
That’s all I had to hear to give my attitude the 180 degree turn it needed. Cancelled flights yield more time for birding… and more birding I did! I took the extra time and thanks to fellow Wildside guide, Steve, had the great fortune of seeing a bird that I’ve been dreaming about seeing since I was 5 years old…. a male painted bunting!
The first couple weeks of teaching my new class have been fabulous. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how incredibly motivated my UMBC students are!
This week on my day off, after getting the lunches packed and the kids off to school, I took a deep breath and realized it was the first day the house was quiet since my trip and after the kids had been home for 10 days straight due to the weather. It was a warm morning. The snow was covered by a thick blanket of fog as it started into a steady rain.. It was the PERFECT day to pull the covers back over my head and go straight to sleep again. And that I did.
By about 9:15 am I reached for my phone to check email as I was pondering all the things on the ‘to-do list’ that had been pushed aside in the whirlwind of activity these past few weeks. The mile-long list (including the unsent holiday cards!) made me pull the covers even higher over my head as I entertained the idea of another hour or two of sleep in my warm, cozy bed.. With the quiet in the house after all the hustle and bustle, some extra zzz’s were just way too tempting for this overtired mom.
A fellow local bird club member had just sent an email reporting 12 + Pine Siskins at his feeder. Knowing it was a bird I needed to see for the year and one that only came to feeders on occasion and could be missed…. I literally kicked my feet straight up in the air, covers flying off the bed and shot straight up. Fifteen minutes later, I arrived at his house and got the bird.
There was only ONE thing on this planet that could get me out of that bed that morning.
And you guessed it..
I bought this stone last spring, just after the Mom’s Big Year seed had been planted during a fun and inspiring conversation with Greg Miller*. I had time on my hands at that point.. enough time to pick this stone up and put it down 7 times before I finally decided to treat myself and buy it. Since then, my ‘Imagine’ stone has fueled dreams of flying off to far away and exciting places all over the country to see rare birds and equally exciting people.
I no longer have the luxury of extra time, as this week I begin prep for my first big trip of Mom’s Big Year. Now everything is kicking into gear.
All. At. Once.