Birder's Eye View

Monday, May 25, 2009

Traveler or Tourist?

“The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.” -G.K. Chesterton

I've had traveling on the mind a lot lately, as we've been planning our expedition to SD in August.

If there's one thing my family does well together, it's travel. My mother has become the connoisseur rough-itinerary-writer and trip-planner over the years, and my father, captain of the road and master of the GPS.

As for the kids, well, I guess you could say we're support crew. We tend to jump in wherever needed, help plan, navigate, and so on. Like all families we have our issues, but if I do say so myself, we are mighty good travelers. :-)

All of our trips have mishaps. My main memory of the our roadtrip in the Southwest is of being altitude sick. In CA, we got lost in the Sierra Nevadas on an empty tank of gas (by the time we found our way back to the highway, we literally rolled downhill all the way to the gas station).

I guess what's so great about traveling with my family is that even when we are lost, having disagreements, or don't know where we're going, we always manage to see some amazing things. Like the quote above, we see what we see, and not always what we've actually come to see.

The small amount of traveling I have done by myself has led me to an interesting conclusion. It seems that while it is easier to be a traveler by yourself, the experience is a thousand times more meaningful when you have someone with whom to share it.

With that food for thought, I have gone completely off-topic from birding. But not for long!

On Monday, at the local nature park, a Cooper's Hawk swooped down right in front of me, going after a lizard. It crashed into the tree (scaring me half to death!), clawed up and down for a second, and when it failed to grab the anole, it flew up to a branch.

I ripped open my camera bag and started taking pictures. It was backlit by early morning sunlight, but I managed to get a couple good shots before it let out a sharp call and flew away.

That makes year bird #105.

Until next time,

Happy birding!

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