Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Good-bye Chronicles Chapter 8: It’s Never Too Late for Another Life Bird!

1. western Screech Owl Western Screech Owl Life Bird #385

2. Thimble peak Pam’s Backyard View of the Catalina Mountains 7-23-10

3. sparrow n Ocotillo Black-throated sparrow on Ocotillo 7-23-10

4. Abert's towhee Juvenile Abert’s Towhee 7-23-10

My friend and IBA partner has invited me to come to her house near the Catalina Mountains to see the Western Screech Owl that hangs out in her eaves.  I have never seen a Western Screech Owl, so I am eager to visit and see this bird for myself.  But there is another reason for me to go.  Pam will be leaving soon for a three month long trek around the western mountains.  She will leave on August 1st and I will be gone before she returns. This is my last chance to see her before I go. I arrive at her house around 9 a.m. and she shows me where “Olivia,” as she has affectionately named her, hangs out. I peek quietly around the corner at the object of my desire and marvel at the soft gray beauty of her.

Pam and I spend the rest of the morning drinking ice water and chatting in the shade of her back patio.  We talk about the future and our plans and where we have been and where we will go.  It all seems so casual and normal to me and finally the hours have ticked away and it is time to say good-bye.  Another friend has come to visit and Pam introduces us and then we walk to my car. I say a calm good-bye and get inside and close the door.  Pam and friend turn their backs to walk into the house through the garage.  All is well, but then it hits me like a load of limestone!  I will not see her again!

Suddenly I am out the door and chasing Pam into the garage. “Pam!  Pam!”  I call out frantically. I run to her and hug her. I am crying now.  “I will not see you again,”  I say!  “I am going to miss you!” Pam hugs me back as I cry on her shoulder. Now we have said a proper good-bye. I wipe my eyes and turn back to my car.  Now I really know.  Now it has really hit me.  I am really moving and there are more good-byes to say. 

This one is just the beginning.5. Abert's towhee jumpMy World Tuesday 


Birds Seen at Pam’s House today:

Location: Pam's backyard
Observation date: 7/23/10
Notes: Watched birds with Pam from her yard. Storm clouds over the Catalinas. Hot and humid. Got pictures of screech owl. My first time ever seeing one!
Number of species: 18
Gambel's Quail 2
Turkey Vulture 4
Cooper's Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 2
White-winged Dove 15
Mourning Dove 6
Western Screech-Owl 1 ****Lifer! It hangs out on the patio under the roof line on top of a brick ledge.
Costa's Hummingbird 2
Gila Woodpecker 1
Common Raven 1
Purple Martin (Desert) 2 Chasing Cooper's hawk
Verdin 1
Cactus Wren 2
Northern Mockingbird 1
Abert's Towhee 1
Black-throated Sparrow 2
House Finch 12
House Sparrow 4
This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)


DeniseinVA said...

Having moved a lot of times back in our navy days, I know how you are feeling Kathie. It's always hard to say goodbye to our friends, bittersweet :(

What a gorgeous photo of your Western Screech Owl, and that last shot of the little Towhee, what a great pose! I have a post up on Nisqually if you would like to pop on over sometime.
An English Girl Rambles

Donna M. Simonetti said...

That is one of the best Western Screech Owl photos I have seen. All your southwest birding buddies will miss you.

Birding is Fun! said...

Screech Owls are awesome! I've only seen them on a couple of occasions. First time was in an owl box in Pearl, Idaho and the second was in the rafters of a fruit farm warehouse.

Gaelyn said...

Never easy to say goodbye to friends, but you'll still be in communications. And you'll be making new friends wherever you go.
Love the owl shot!

DeniseinVA said...

Me again :) Thanks for stopping by and correcting my identification on the cliff swallow. Sure do appreciate that. I enjoyed your memories of the place. I absolutely loved it there. I hope to go back one day.
An English Girl Rambles

Arija said...

Kathie dear, I have just read your mesmerising chronicles..... I do hope you turn your Arizona experiences into a book just by editing your blog posts together. It makes for a riveting story and would open so many people's eyes to the wonder of nature all around them.

In life one never knows when one door will close and another open. We think we are settled for the rest of our life, then God takes a hand and radical changes suddenly occur.

Here too things have altered focus, my dear Prof is sliding into dementia that is putting a great strain on the whole family.Probably the mood swings I have been exposed to lately actually sent me to those pearly gates yet again. The enforced hospital rest did me a world of good and I can once again cope for a while.

Shovelling snow will be quite a challenge after sweltering in the desert but you are young and as long as you can live near nature, I am sure you will enjoy it there. It is such a lovely part of the country.

All the best for your big move, I look forward to hearing about it when you are settled.

Love and hugs, Arija

Candice Suter.....Sweetstuff said...

It's so hard to say goodbye! That made me cry. I could feel your sadness.

Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

OH, Kathie.... your post really touched me. You will surely be missed as much as you will miss.

PS your screech owl picture is the bomb!

Kathie Brown said...

Denise, it was hard at first but now I am just ready to go. I'm ready to start my new life and see where it leads me.

Donna, I will miss you too! I wonder if anyone will want to visit me in the Northeast?

Idaho Birder, well, I was thrilled to see this one. I peeked out at her several times.

Gaelyn, thank you on every level!

Arija, I am so sorry about your dear Prof and so glad that you are still with us. You are so right, as long as I have access to nature I will find joy! Hugs back!

Candy, sad to leave, excited to go and see what the world has yet in store for me. Life is too short to do it all!

Warren and Lisa, well, I will actually be closer to you! Perhaps when you are hiking the Appalacian trail through NE I can finally meet you! Thank you for your kind comments and sympathy.

EG CameraGirl said...

Holy Toledo! That's an impressive list!

trav4adventures said...

Oh, Kathie...I just LOVE owls! We had an owl in our cottonwood several years ago. It came and went for several weeks, but we could hear it hooting late at night. We were hoping that it was scoping out the rodents (critters) in our back yard and getting rid of them. We only hear it in the autumn or spring as the air conditioner outside our window runs all summer! I need to go see the owls at the Living Desert and get my "owl fix"!