Chasing Birds

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

February 27, 2015
by Brittany

Flight Feathers

Today I felt a bird fly. Sounds like some weird form of synesthesia, right? You would typically see a bird fly, not feel it. But I did, albeit for only a moment. I watched this magnificent Swainson’s Hawk spread his wings to greet the breeze and felt the weight of his body lift up from my hand, talons releasing one by one, until eight toes hovered above my glove. Through the leather jesses that connected us, I felt the upward pull of the wind supporting his wings and the way his body shifted in response to the blustery skies. It was a beautiful moment. An incomparable feeling, to be sure. 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