Chasing Birds

I've got a garden to tend, birds to find, beers to drink, and stories to share.

June 5, 2015
by Brittany

Self-reliance or Something Like It

If you could only take three things to a desert island, what would they be?

I loathe those kinds of questions. Particularly that one. Mostly because I’m a take-the-kitchen-sink kind of person (except for when I’m backpacking). And I’m sorry, but there are only two people who could survive with only 3 things: MacGyver and Chuck Norris.

In the real world, no matter how much you think you’re prepared for something, you just aren’t. What you are is at the mercy of Mother Nature. And sometimes, she just. doesn’t. stop. In California: month after month of negligible or no precipitation. In Michigan, there’s a joke that the state has 4 seasons: Winter, Still Winter, Almost Winter, and Construction. But that last season has changed to “Is This Summer? Well, The Sky Isn’t *As* Gray…” and people aren’t laughing anymore.  In Colorado, we’re experiencing the effects of El Nino: precipitation and lots of it. And we truly, honestly, wholeheartedly do appreciate the extra moisture (we’re thinking of you, California!), but…enough already. more

January 24, 2015
by Brittany

2014 Wrap Up

I’ve finally gotten around to going through last year’s field season photos (yep, 6 months later). Better late than never, I guess. And the 2015 field season is beginning to creep up on me. In a little over 3 months, I’ll be back on the road, indulging my wanderlust, exploring Colorado’s topography. I feel like I have way too much to do before then and yet it can’t come soon enough. Colin and I have been working on a fancy pants camping setup for Sally (including, hopefully, a new camper shell) and I’ve set some major personal and slightly-less-major work-related goals for myself (arbitrary deadline: May 1st). More to come on all of that. Anyhow, enjoy the photos. I will do my best to post more frequently this year, both photos and stories. more

June 28, 2014
by Brittany

The Cost of a Just-Okay-Day

While I’m not too far off the topic of the un-Yelped world, I’d like to present my personal review of Van Camp Cabins in Yampa, Colorado. By way of a short story.

Chapter 1: From Okay to Absolutely Not Okay

My day started off okay. But just okay. I slept through my alarm, which is the worst way to wake up on a survey day. It’s not like you can give some excuse when you get into the office, passing the blame onto something that was entirely out of your control (like when a frickin’ sweet Prairie Falcon soars over your house as you were getting into your car (which is a legitimate excuse at my workplace, by the way)). It’s all on you. I was supposed to be on my first point, ready to survey by 5:15 and I failed, which was particularly important today because a huge thunderstorm was predicted to roll in by 7 and I had a 2-mile hike in. However, I only slept in an hour late, so all was not lost. After a 15 minute drive, 1 mile on a Stairmaster, and 1 mile banging my shins on fallen trees, I still made it to the first point by 6:30 and it was not yet cloudy. I felt redeemed when I nearly stepped on a male Dusky Grouse and then heard another one hooting in the distance. I finished 4 points by the time the clouds really started to roll in and got back to the truck barely before the storm. A win in anybody’s book. more