Monday, June 8, 2009

Update June 8

My posting has been erratic at best I know, but I have new motivation now to write and will try and post every few days at least, during this field season. I met a man named Ed (who is a retired outdoors writer - more on him below) and have since been inspired to try and write on this thing more often.

Field season started the first week of May and we have been camping ever since. We first started in MT for a couple weeks to catch some birds I didn't get last year (damn woodpeckers) as well as some new species my adviser added, and then headed down to CO where we have been since just before Memorial Day. I have been catching lots of birds and overall having a good time but the start in MT was cold since it was still pretty much winter and below freezing at night. In CO so far we have had a lot of rain and thunderstorms but it is supposed to get to be more normal in terms of weather soon. I think we have about a week left on Colorado and then we are off to Utah. I have met some great people here in Colorado and one of them is a couple named Ed and Suzan Dentry; Ed is a retired outdoors writer for the rocky mountain newspaper who knows pretty much everyone who is anyone in the outdoors (hunting and fishing) scene over the last 40 years and is friends with many of the fly-fishing authors I have read and Suzan has an antiques website SuzanDentryAntiques.. Ed also covered the 1988 Yellowstone fires which he was nominated for a Pulitzer and has regaled us, more me though with some hunting/fishing and general outdoors stories which I have thoroughly enjoyed. They have also been kind enough to let us sleep in their guest room and couch so we have been out of the tents for a few days and loving the "normal" comforts (we also caught a number of birds at their place which is sorta important since that's required before we get to move on to the next destination).

We also ran into a few other people with bird feeders which makes it easier to catch birds and a few have been really kind to offer us home cooked meals. One of them was a couple in Boulder and the man was a retired psychology professor and incredibly good pianist where we spent the night after catching the birds chatting away and had a great time. Back in MT we camped on this older couple's land (Jane owns the local Birds and Beasleys bird store in Helena along with her daughter Sandy - both of which helped us out immensely; thank you both!) where we were for about a week since they had showers we could use, which is always a good thing.

Nothing too exciting to report really and with all the run-off I haven't had a chance to fish but soon! There was a sighting of a mountain lion and two yearling cubs here which is exciting and I hope to see them. No bears so far but we are planning on heading to another family's place to camp and they have a big black bear that regularly come around so hopefully I will see it (but not from too close up). Originally I was thinking of camping in their meadow/draw but then my field partner Karley reminded me that the bear is thought to be hanging out in that exact area so.... we are staying up by the house instead.

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