Thursday, May 21, 2009

Birding without the Boat


Still dark and wet in West Virginia.

Only a post or two still cooking on the New River Birding & Nature Festival, dear readers. Bear with me?

Our Friday excursion, Birding by Boat, excited me but the stormy weather forecast called for revising the agenda a tad. Our genius trip leaders, Geoff Heeter and Jeff Gordon, put their minds together and came up with a dynamite plan. Instead of boarding a boat


we boarded an official, colorful Songer Whitewater Bus and I liked it. It was a great bus. Roomy.


When weather wrecks your plans, what are the chances of the day being much better than originally expected?


It was. We stopped for fancy coffee in the middle of the day, thank you.


Dear Nina, ever vigilant.


Swallows, Common Loons and Terns… I counted ten additional life birds on Friday.

It was all wet and breathtakingly beautiful, to me.


In the pouring rain


we smiled

and enjoyed Kathie’s Arizona rain gear. Her poncho was the best gear of all.


Waterfalls are uplifting in any weather, on any day.


I was constantly amazed at the Jeff and Geoff team. Two of my target birds were a Baltimore Oriole and Pileated Woodpecker and within twenty minutes, I saw both. Jeff and Geoff knew how and when to call the Pileated but that wasn’t enough. Jeff predicted precisely where the woodpecker would break through a wooded area and soar towards us to perch in a tree directly above our heads. That put me in shock, actually; therefore, no pictures. A good view of a Baltimore Oriole followed; again, no pictures. Funny, ey? By Thursday, I was functioning on half a brain and suffering from life bird overload. That's not a joke.




Late afternoon, the sun began to shine. They were focused on a bird. I was not :o)
We headed to the Cathedral Cafe in Fayetteville for dinner.


If you want to see great bird photos that I didn’t get that day (or all week), please visit Lynne at Hasty Brook or Jane, the one with the camera. You'll be so pleased!


The evening’s excitement grew as we anticipated hearing Julie speak.


Prior to Julie’s talk, our Kathi recited a witty and very kind poem she wrote in honor of Bill Thompson III. She named it “Birding with Bill”.


I think he liked it! Good job, Kathi.


About Julie’s presentation?
Absolutely enchanting.


I was thrilled to finally meet Julie and her family.

Our washed out Friday was a keeper.


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Friday (not Thursday- thanks May!) was really a special day. In fact, I think it was my best day. Remembering how gorked my mind was on Thursday night, I'm amazed I could recall anything!

KGMom said...

YOU HAD A PURPLE BUS. (Sorry, was I shouting?)
I have read many posts about this birding expedition and no one mentioned a PURPLE BUS. Oops--did it again.
Mary, lovely photos. Even without birds--just lovely.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

The scenery is gorgeous, and I think the rain just made it picture perfect. Love the waterfall!

Pete said...

your blog Mary post what you like!!!

its always interesting.

you had a super trip!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

This was such a wonderful outing. I love all the pictures you did manage to take. I too get caught up in the excitement of a bird, scene or what ever and forget to take photos, especially when in a big group. There are lots of distractions.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it exciting exploring country you've never been to. Blog about what ever you want. I'll read it. Beautiful pictures as always. Thanks for sharing.

RuthieJ said...

Your purple bus looks like it should be heading to a Minnesota Vikings football game!
Mary, I'm so glad you got to see so many life birds on this trip....I had no idea you'd never seen a Pileated Woodpecker!
All of your photos are lovely, but I like the waterfall ones the best in this post.

Kathiesbirds said...

Mary, your photos are fabulous! This was a good day though, like you, I was exhausted and on birding overload! What happy memories. I wish I had gone up to the loft of that Catherdral Cafe. I didn't even notice that it looked so pretty! I was so tired!

Tina said...

Whew! this trip sounds like it was a lot of fun, some discomfort from warblers neck, wet and wild rides and did I mention fun!

Glad everyone made it back safely!!

Kallen305 said...

Mary, I LOVE the photos and seeing everyone together! I totally get the bird overload thing. Sometimes your brain need time to digest it all or it gets too overwhelming.

NCmountainwoman said...

"Life bird overload" I think you may have coined a very useful phrase.

Great post about a surprisingly wonderful day. Some things actually do work out, don't they?

merrilymarylee said...

Dang! I could have handled the hairpin curves, but those bridges...not so sure!

Pictures are lovely though. You're a wonder at capturing mountain mist.

A New England Life said...


I like your optomistic attitude. Not sure I would have done as well in the pouring rain. It's just not my thing. Not to mention the wildly frizzy, yet flat hair that goes along with it. ha haa!

You captured the day so well. Surely the friends and memories you made will last for many years : )


JeanMac said...

Sounds like a great time, esp. the get together later.

Corey said...

Hey, the guy on the right in the 13th picture (he's in the 15th picture as well) . . who is he? I swear he was at the Cape May Spring Weekend that I just went to, and I think I even have a photo of him (the sandals and beard are somewhat of a tell). Does he have a British accent? Am I being too nosy?

Hey awesome stories so far, glad you got so many lifers on this trip. The first pic of the waterfall is amazing, very well done.

dAwN said...

You all had so much fun...and I am having so much fun reading about it all and getting to know all of you characters in the play.

Wendy said...

What a wonderful trip! I can't believe Jeff or was it Geoff? actually predicted where the pileated woodpecker would fly out of the woods. Amazing!!

What a nice group of people. Thanks for sharing your fun with us bloggers.

Red said...

Amazing a rained out day turned out so well. You have a knack for taking great water photos Mary... love them all!