Sunday, July 19, 2009

Shut The Door So I Can Leave

An epic Madera Canyon sunset was a solid crowd-pleaser. seems Ive made it. I write to you, late on a Saturday night, from the Hidden Valley Four Seasons Resort, a posh piece of property that I would normally have no business on, seeing that A) I am not of the Elite and B) I have no interest, of any kind, that would motivate me to be here even if I could afford it.....although the trap and skeet range does strike my on-again off-again fancy with firearms.

What am I doing here? Monday I start my new job with Bat Conservation International, whom I will be working for until the middle of October.....and for reasons that I have yet to fully understand, the field housing for the project is located exclusively at this resort. I'm holed up in this condo, complete with loft, fireplace, a big stack of firewood, and all the essential furniture items, kitchenware, etc. Aside from the food and alcohol situation (which really is a whole situation in and of itself.....I'll explain later), I'm completely self-contained.

The journey out here, of course, was far more interesting than the far. But there are a lot of many in order to capture the nerdy spirit of the thing I will just post a bunch of nonhuman (Inhuman?) pictures from Southeast Arizona, one of the birding meccas of United States.

A Monsoonbow off of Hwy 19, north of Madera Canyon.

The resident male Flame-Colored Tanager outside Madera Kubo Cabins.

Gobble Gobble Gobble Gobble Gobble Gobble Gobble.....

I got to a bird around Southeast Arizona with a bunch of half-crazies, the stars of which were veterans from the 2007/2008 Imperial Valley Burrowing Owl seasons. It was a breezy experience, to say the least. Berylline Hummingbirds and Buff-breasted Flycatchers were both new to me.....and I think it is safe to say, at this juncture, that things will never be the same. To put it bluntly, southeastern Arizona is a facemelting place to look at birds, and can test you physically and mentally....I've found myself Out There, on that high, jagged edge, more than once over the years. The intense heat and rigorous schedule of trying to see as much as you can in just a few days can do a number on you......but nothing a little rattlesnake won't cure, you know what I'm sayin'?

I start work tomorrow out here in the PA, I'll let you know how it goes. Otherwise, I'll post some more All-American Goodness from The Road in the near future.......until then, hold it down!

A bloodthirsty Brown-crested Flycatcher delivers its defeated prey to its bloodthirstier nestlings in the power pole. Shortly after this picture was taken, the flycatcher pair were documented attempting to stuff a small child into a cavity.

Two or three White-eared Hummingbirds were holding down the feeders at Beatty's in Miller Canyon. A truly awesome creature.

A Berylline Hummingbird in the process of assembling a giant, chewbaccaesque figure. No one quite understands the reasons for this.

A bedazzling male Broad-billed Hummingbird.

A Black-chinned Hummingbird shows off its chin-bling.

Although not a good picture, I kind of like it. Beware the Hooded Oriole that attacks by lamplight.

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