White Mountain Birding Trip - Cancelled!

June 6, 2015
Since I don’t always blog my short local birding visits of which there have been only two since my last blog, time has gotten away from me.  But I keep an eye on birds in my community, too.  The Say’s Phoebe that nested in my neighbors’ carport awning chose a bad time.  They were having lots of work done at the house; the carport was used for cutting countertops, laminate, etc.  The nest failed, but the Say’s Phoebes are still around.

I expected to be birding with friends in the White Mountains yesterday, today and tomorrow but the day prior to leaving, the forecast for winds rose to 25 mph Friday and Saturday (today).  Nothing, for me, is worse than big wind for birding.  To find a bird, I watch for leaves to move. Great fun in the wind!  So, we cancelled my well-planned trip.

No one expected rain in the Phoenix Valley so we know the weathermen don’t always get things right.  The headline in this morning’s Arizona Republic reporting about yesterday’s rain in the Valley of the Sun was:  “RAINFALL IN PHOENIX ON JUNE 5TH?  THAT’S A FIRST.”

The weathermen didn’t get it quite right for the White Mountains either.  Reports show that winds during the daytime yesterday and today were closer to 10 mph (not great, but, for me, doable) rising only in the late afternoon and evening to that 25 mph range.  Grrrr.

So, instead of looking at Gray Jays, Pinyon Jays, American Three-toed Woodpeckers and American Dippers, I have free time to take care of managing my Life!  
While getting tires rotated on the car today, I was told what I already knew, that it was past time for new tires. I was trying to hold out past this summer (heat dry-rots the rubber) but, no, I do put safety first.  On Tuesday, I return for a set of new Michelins.  (I use a bigger size than standard for my Honda Insight because I use dirt roads so much.)  

While planning the White-Mountain trip, I didn’t bird locally, so I decided to deal with a nagging lower back problem and went through two hours of physical therapy on Wednesday (6/3).  Amazing how much better I feel already with increased strength in my core muscles.   While being evaluated, it made me feel good when the P.T. lifted my right leg to perpendicular and kept pressing it toward my chest.  He said, “Tell me when.”  I said, “There is no when.”  My favorite yoga position is a sitting forward bend when I lay out my body on my legs! 
With just that one very good workout, I was able to stop taking an Aleve each night and do away with the stick-on pain patches on the lumbar region.  I’ll be following up to ensure continued progress.

On Thursday, 6/4, I had a pre-op doctor’s appointment for a bunion surgery scheduled for June 18th.  So, I’ve scheduled blood draw, knee caddy rental, etc., etc.

But the big news is that on Thursday, June 11th, I’ll be heading to Atlanta to help celebrate the graduations of Megan (Georgia State U) and Ethan (Brookwood HS.), two grandchildren of my youngest son, Jerry, and his wife, Kelly.  They’ve done a fantastic job; one day Megan and Ethan were infants and now they are each very capable young woman and young man.  It seems to have happened in a mere blink of the eyes.  I’m very much looking forward to seeing the whole family and spending time with Megan and Ethan and - YES - I’ll be carrying my binoculars and camera.  During my last visit, each of  the four of them took me to a different park near them I had found on e-bird, enabling me to pick up a couple east-coast Life Birds. On this trip, I’ll probably be pitching in a bit more on prep for the party but if opportunity knocks, I’ll be birding.  (Last visit, I got two Lifers in their back yard—Brown-headed Nuthatch and Pine Warbler.)

Meantime, stayed tuned. 

Photos taken while birding with Julie C. on June 1st at Granite Reef Recreation Area; 
Salt River, Maricopa County, AZ
Rare for this time of year: American Wigeon in Granite Reef's Retention Pond

Sacred Datura (Jimson Weed) at Granite Reef Rec Area along Lower Salt River

Wild horse at Coon Bluff near the parking lot

It must have walked away from the others in its band; I looked but didn't search for the others

Quite tame

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