"My life feels, week to week, incomplete to the level of being pointless if I am not in preparation for the next play or, ideally, into it."
Here we are, dear readers, the 22nd of July, 2015, Anno Domini. I promised you a final post from The Farallones, one last day of portraited glory, beauty nearly too beauteous for mortal eyes to view-teous. Apologies to all of my deceased readers who never got to see this glorious day in portrait--it is their loss, not ours.
"Why now?" some of you ask. 20 September, 2014 was so 2014. Why? Because today is 22 July, 2015. And because TPAD is coming back to an island near [those of] you [who live in the Greater Bay Area.] That's right. TPAD shall rise from the ashes to bring you something-to-be-determined from SEFI. Stay tuned, because starting in mid-August you'll all have a reason to go on laughing, loving, and living.
For now, here is 20 September:
The day dawned as most days do, with the sun rising in the east. High overcast. Light winds. Boat day. North Landing. Ideal conditions for a total shit-show. It was to be a day of birds, boats, and lightning strikes. The Bird of The Day was a Plumbeous Vireo at the lighthouse, found by one Jim Tietz--the rest of us scrambled up the mountain amidst throngs of warblers to see this third island record and the only one ever photographed and/or banded (P. Pyle, pers. comm.)
This was followed by a flock of 10 White-faced Ibis--that's right. Lightning. Strikes. Again. Ten. Times. If White-faced Ibis keeps this up, White-faced Ibis will someday be the rarest bird on the island.
Later that short day (for your dear writer) a call came in from the mountain top--Jim had seen a warbler walk inside of the lighthouse. That's right. Walk. He closed the door and coaxed us up--Oliver J. and I headed up the trail, again, with nets in hand and hopes against hopes that we'd be greeted by the eye-ringedest of walking warblers. After much wrangling with mist-nets inside of lighthouses, we came out, victorious:
|Here we see Daniel Maxwell, Avian Hypnotherapist, PhD, holding our quarry in thrall. This Connecticut Warbler got its lifer Oliver James inside of a lighthouse. Think about that.|
Connecticut Warbler. White-faced Ibis. Plumbeous Vireo. Blackburnian Warbler. Tennessee Warbler. Vertical Siskin. 74 species were seen on SEFI that day and here is the eBird list to prove it.
In summary: the day was ridiculous. A boat day. A wave day. Birds, banding, loading, unloading, a harried tour of the island, and then, dear readers, as you are all too painfully aware, a departure. Goodbye, Jim, Daniel, Boo and Ollie. It was bittersweet and, to be honest, I've been too hurt to go back to TPAD. Until today. Tonight I will sleep for the first time in 305 days. Say that out loud: 305 days. The closing of 2014's TPAD season has weighed heavily upon me--but now that season is behind us. Ahead of us: Men in gray suits. Birds. Pinnipeds. TPAD 2015 is just around the corner.
I'll see you all on 15 August, 2015.