Posts Tagged ‘kingbirds’

 “It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here.” – Edward Abbey

Always the Same But Always Different


I often sit on this bench to watch birds. The area is a favorite hangout of western kingbirds and Bullock’s orioles. — Photo by Pat Bean

Before I became a full-time wondering wanderer, I enjoyed the familiarity of my frequent hikes on the benches of Utah’s Mount Ogden, whose shadow stretched down to touch my pleasant home.

From day-to-day, season-to-season, year-to-year, I got to watch the same landscape in its different moods and growth. It was an awesome experience.

While I truthfully tell everyone the only thing I miss since paring all my belongings down to fit into a 22-foot long RV is my bathtub – showers have just never been my bathing choice – I’m beginning to think I also miss the continuity of watching one particularly landscape change on a daily basis.

My volunteer position as a campground host here at Lake Walcott State Park for the last three summers is what started me thinking about this. I walk all around this park daily, several times in fact since my canine traveling companion, Pepper, needs an outlet for her energy. And I never tire of seeing the same landscape over and over.

Today the lake is mirror smooth, and so provides a canvas for the landscape to paint.

Part of that is because it’s ever-changing. The slant of the sun, the shadow of a cloud, the arrival of the nighthawks, a new flower opening its petals, the mirror smoothness or crashing waves of the lake against the shore, all this and much, much more add variety and delight to my walks.

Edward Abbey got it right. It’s as important to enjoy the land as it is to protect it. The first, I suspect, will make us fight all the harder to accomplish the latter.

Bean’s Pat: Life in the Bogs http://bogsofohio.wordpress.com I chose this blog as my pick of the day because its author/photographer frequently posts pictures of the same pond in its many moods. I never tire of seeing her pond day after day.

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 “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Yogi Berra

Cactus Motor Lodge

Tucumcari, New Mexico, is a city full of Route 66 memories.

Until you take a closer look. — Photo by Pat Bean

One of those is the old Cactus Motor Lodge where I stayed this past week. Not in the lodge itself, but on the property where it once stood.

While the former well-used motel rooms, some with their own auto garages, sit vacant and ghostly, the grounds have been turned into a landscaped RV park. While I was there, it was popular with both travelers and western kingbirds, the latter an especially nice touch for this avid birdwatcher. The gray flycatchers with their bright yellow belllies were all over the place.

The historic stone lodge, once neatly trimmed with bright orange and yellow paint, was built in the 1930s. Its office was converted from an old dance hall, where gambling was conducted illegally in the basement, according to some unsubstantiated information I turned up on the internet.

The dance hall supposedly had an escape tunnel, which was most likely cemented in when a swimming pool was built at the lodge in the 1950s. At least that was the guess of new owners who looked for the tunnel, but couldn’t find it.

Memories from Route 66’s past, when gas was only 39 cents a gallon, seeped into my thoughts as I walked my canine traveling companion, Pepper, around and around and around the property. She’s a young dog with a gazillion tons of energy and I’m an old broad who needs to keep walking.

We’re the perfect pair of wanderers. And Route 66 is providing us with plenty of colorful opportunities to wander off the beaten track.

Bean’s Pat: This Man’s Journey http://tinyurl.com/7wkhksa A different take on the photo challenge.  Perhaps we all need to unfocus a bit.

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