Tuesday, June 27, 2006

California birdwatching success!

I'm at a conference in San Jose California, which of course provides a great excuse to go birding. I went out the past two mornings and saw a total of 11 new species! The most exciting new one was a California condor. They have captively bred these birds the past few years and have now reintroduced some back to new areas. I was lucky to see one of the new birds.

But my favorite sighting was a sleepy western screech owl. I got great directions on where this bird was hanging out, and I got up early and followed the directions and, voila, I found the owl. It was just hanging out, sleepily, and I got really good looks. Here's a photo from another birder.

So, now my North America list is at 527 species. Life is good....

Monday, June 19, 2006

Trips and updates

I just got back from a business trip out east. And I got to see Mom as she came in to see Grandpa the night before I was leaving! We had a nice dinner with Diane and Dick, and Mom is still out there visiting with them and Grandpa. She will see other family too, so it's a good trip. I then stopped over in Chicago to visit my folks and also see Laurel for a quick visit. I love it when I can combine work trips and family.

Grandma and Grandpa are doing well and while I was there, Penny and Ted came up, and we had Patsy and Jerry on a speaker phone and we talked with my parents about their future, and various scenarios. It was really good, and from that we got a lot of things figured out and ideas for how to make their house more livable as they get older. They want to stay there as long as possible, so we talked about putting in a bathroom downstairs and other things. There were some very practical things we discussed, but just as important, we let them know we love them and want to help them as much as we can.

Next Sunday I am off to a conference in California. It is a good meeting, and I will also take some mornings to go off birdwatching. I hope to see maybe 10 or so new species! That would be awesome! Here is a photo of one I hope to find, the Mountain Quail:

So, wish me luck. And when I get back, Justin will be here, soon to be followed by Laurel and Freddie, and then Juliana and her Mom! Yippee for family. It will be such fun to hang out and visit and do things together. Love you all.