Birds and more while walking in Gallinas River Park
at Las Vegas, San Miguel Co, New Mexico
I am not a real birder, I am just a just a guy who likes to take a walk, preferable near some water and who notices and appreciates his natural environment, all of it: animal, vegetable and mineral. In the past I concentrated on the vegetable and mineral; photographing, identifying and cherishing. The animal part of the natural world was a little too quick in most cases for anything but cherishing a fleeting glance. The dead of course are an exception, though the living are quick to make them disappear too. Birds were the worst. By the time I set the f-stop, time and focused the camera or got out the guide book and found the right page the subject was gone. Cherish the memory.
I have a serious defect to being a real birder. I am perfectly happy here at home in Las Vegas, the thought of boarding an airplane or even getting into a car just to look for birds bewilders me. Once you have learned that there are different lands with different environments, geography, flora and fauna, languages and customs, why travel to distant places before learning all you can of your own. I just like to walk my own home ground now to see what I can see.
I have a couple more handicaps. I cannot hear the high pitched song of those little birds, an important clue to their identification and I’m myopic making everything in the distance a little blurry. Woops! Thare goes a little blue fuzzy thing, I wonder what it was. That’s me, a half deaf, half blind stick-in-the-mud.
I am not a real birder, but I found that a new digital camera I bought to photograph all the plants of Las Vegas gave me a fighting chance to record and identify all that I see: the birds, animals as well as the plants, those beloved stationary beings. A 60X zoom lens and multiple exposures with one press of the button gives me plenty of material to figure out from my books and the internet what I saw. Therefore I have accidentally become a birder!
So, as I would say to Willy when he was my constant companion
“Let’s take a walk on the wild side.” of the Gallinas River.