Don’t Leave Home

Without a Camera: the sad lesson of 2004.
Disclaimer: All of the Following is True.  None of the Following is Exaggerated.

Once upon a time, there was a very fortunate undergraduate who won a quest trip to spend 8 days rafting down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon because she spent a very pleasant half hour chatting with a wizard woman from Arizona State University at Flagstaff  while visiting a castle conference in Pittsburgh.

Beginning of the Owl Story

How I began my journey: (1) I travel across mountains, grasslands, and desert to Arizona. (2) Yay, there are 8 days of rafting to look forward to! (3) I set off from the University of Arizona on a quest to study depredation.

To extend her visit out west she found a job for the summer as a squire field research for the kingdom University of Arizona.  It was a long journey to a distant land, so she hemmed and hawed whether or not to take her cauldron camera.  Ultimately she opted not to.  Her motto was better safe than sorry.

How my journey continued.

Whatever will happen next? (4) I visit four mountain ranges throughout my quest.  (5) I trudge through the Huachucas, listening and learning.  (6) Heading back to base camp.

Her work took her throughout the Santa Catalinas, as far away as the Pinalenos, up the Chiricahuas and down the Huachucas in search of deprecated nests. Up and down the mountains she went carrying boxes, nests, and ladders. Searching, listening, collecting. Returning through the gloaming from a long day in the field, she wandered down the mountain slope.  It was quiet, peaceful.

How my journey ends.

How my journey ends: (7) Wait, what is this I see? (8) Is it an owl in a tree? (9) New lifer. Glee!

She paused to look up, to enjoy the beauty, when to her surprise she saw an owl in the tree ahead of her.  Spellbound, she slowly, cautiously drew closer until she stood beneath the owl.  She peered up, the owl peered down and time passed, the girl looking at the owl, and the owl looking at the girl. Though it was doubtful the girl was the first human the owl had ever seen, It was the first owl for the girl.   Sadly, the girl didn’t have her camera with her to record such a momentous occasion.  Moving like a mouse creeping past an owl, she slowly drew her wand guide from her rucksack and compared the images in her spellbook to the bird before her.  At long last, she settled on Spotted Owl.

Today, the girl is on her fourth camera and has only seen one other owl in the wild to date though she gets to work with one through her current quest.

4 thoughts on “Don’t Leave Home

  1. Marvelous tale Worthy Birder.

    Needless to say I greatly envy you your Spotted Owl, and also your illustration skillzz.
    Maybe it’s for the best you didn’t have the camera. I’ve heard tales of people falling and wrecking their gear in those treacherous washes.

    Great post.

    • Thanks!

      I had such bad luck with the disposable camera I had on the trip – I documented my drive through each state with iconic images and my photos were all dismal. I sat in the parking lot and cried as I reviewed the images from the developer. My folks shipped my camera to me after that. At the time of the Spotted Owl, I was waiting for my camera to arrive. The camera survived the subsequent trips driving through the washes, but I did flip a cooler of quail eggs once.

      I think MS paint is a vastly underrated program.

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