Friday, August 9, 2013

End of an era (con't)

So the project I've worked on since 2007 (minus 1.5 seasons, sure) is all over. ALL OVER. How the hell am I supposed to deal with this, huh? The Golden-cheeked warblers (and black-capped vireos) are my buddies! It all feels empty and weird. So weird! So empty! Gahh! I'm gonna go squat like a hobo on the field sites next year and run around after my bird friends just because I can. You can't stop me! I handle change so well! (above: older golden-cheeked warbler fledgie; below: male golden-cheeked warbler with a tasty treat)
What else... End of the field season always is pretty crappy and sad; this year much more so. It didn't help that my last (black-capped vireo) nest check was absolutely brutal. F-ing fire ants eating dead nestlings. I went the whole season not having to go through this and then boom!, last day in the field, in my face. Death. Didn't handle that all too well, not that I ever do. (below: female black-capped vireo at her nest)
The one good thing about booking it out of my happy place is that I won't have to dwell with black widows anymore. My life was full of spiders this season. Spiders, okay, fine. No problem. But black widows? Eh.  I first discovered them living (and thriving) underneath some of my cactus pots. A fatty female with a couple egg sacs. After further inspection, I found a few more females (+ more egg sacs) in the tarp covering Hans Henry and Big Tex (my bikes--uh, bike bikes not motorcycles, just to make that clear).  In the end, the count was something like 17-19. Whoa, guys! I think I handled this surprisingly well, considering they were living pretty much right under my bed...(below: female black-capped vireo on her nest)


Arija said...

Jill, I am so sorry the whole project has finished. What are you going to do now apart from sitting on the field sites and meditating? I do hope something wonderful and challenging comes your way.
What on earth did you do with your black widow colony??? It is hard to feel Buddhistic about black widows although they are beautiful creatures in their own right.

RamblingWoods said...

Jill...I am sorry that the project came to an end even with the spiders..and I am not that much over my spider fear to handle that. And I don't handle dead wildlife that well either. It somehow made me feel better that it bothers you too...

This has nothing to do with your post, but I have been thinking about it tonight. You are a trained professional.

OK.. GBH minding his (or her) own business on the edge of the pond. The last family group of canada geese are practicing their flights as the smallest gosling can't quite make it over the trees to leave the pond.

There was the call, the take-off ... the flapping and the smallest gosling tipped into the GBH sending it into the pond.

I am watching the goose family in the middle of the pond when I see the heron take off low over the pond with the squawk flying right for the gosling that hit it. The Mom see this and reaches up toward the heron who taps her, screams at her and keeps going.

Now who would think that a great blue heron could be vengeful. It was so funny..and I know that heron was pissed off... Michelle

Steve Borichevsky said...

I have not doubt that you will fill the void. Sucks about the fire ants.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

I always so enjoy your posts and you gave me a giggle and a woah this time. That is incredible how many Black Widows were living among you and your belongings...super scarey! Your images...well spectacular as always. Happy trails to you~

Janie said...

The birds are beautiful, and feeling sad at the end of a long, well-loved project seems perfectly natural to me.
Wow, those black widows were loving your house. I'm sure you'll be glad to move out and leave it to them.