A Batch of Birds (#1)

Here are some of my bird pictures from Costa Rica:

Acorn Woodpecker (female)

 

Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush

Collared Redstart

Flame-colored Tanager

Green Violetear

Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher

Red-headed Barbet

White-throated Mountain-gem

Happy New Lens!

I bought a new lens on Boxing Day, but have been waiting for some blue skies to go out and try it. I finally gave up on that and went for a (short) walk today with my camera, my old lens and my new one. It was chilly and birds were scarce so I ended up just taking a picture of some buildings in the distance. Here’s the original shot:

I took the same shot with both lenses and here are the cropped results:

Old lens

New lens

Happy New Lens to me!

Looking back, looking forward

 

 

I always feel like the end of the year is like being at the top of a mountain. Look one way and you can see where you were in the last year, look in any other direction and you can see the possibilities for the next year. Between Christmas and New Year’s is when I like to climb my mountain.

 

 

 

2016 was another year of adventure and change for me.

  • In February, I took my first solo trip out of the country. I went to Cuba over the school break. It was important to me to prove to myself that I could do it. Plus I saw some new birds. 🙂
  • In March, Bill’s brother, Bob, died. He had cancer and it changed him. It was like his spirit died when he got his diagnosis, and finally his body caught up with it. It really was a blessing.
  • I retired at the end of June. Thanks to Bob’s generosity, I was able to retire a few years earlier than planned. After seeing too many people die too young, it felt like the right thing to do. I am enjoying it immensely!
  • I finished two quilts this year. One for myself and one for a friend’s new baby. I’m not speedy, but I am enjoying it.
  • I went camping for two weeks in August at Kimball Lake. That place always restores my soul. And I survived a big storm in my tent – playing my ukelele and singing at the top of my lungs because no one could hear over the thunder anyway. 🙂
  • I visited my friend Bett in Kitchener at the end of August. I was amazed that almost every building there is made of brick. And I saw both a male and female cardinal. Bonus!
  • In September, I fell down an old well hole and broke my arm. I should say, and only  broke my arm. It could have been much worse. And it’s about 90% back to normal now.
  • Right after breaking my arm, I visited my friends Cathy and Nick in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Of course, it was a little different trip than I had originally planned, but they took good care of me and we had a wonderful visit. Cathy and I drove up to the magnificently beautiful Crater Lake one day. If I had seen that sight on a postcard I would have sworn it had been photoshopped. Amazing.
  • I’ve done a little subbing. Breaking my arm put a kink in those plans, but I’ll do more next year. Although I have to admit I really enjoy being able to go “Umm, no, I don’t feel like working today.”
  • My retirement dream trip was a December birding trip to Costa Rica with my friend Adele and her husband Ray. We arranged it through a company called Costa Rica Gateway. We had a guide (Steven Easley) who took us around to different areas of the country and over the 12 days, we saw an incredible 382 different birds! Plus learned to take better pictures. I didn’t get pictures of all the birds we say, but I’m working my way through the thousands of pictures I did take and am sure I have over 200 to add to my site. It was a fantastic trip with great friends and a terrific guide.
  • Greg and Troy and I spent a quiet Christmas together. I’m lucky to have them so close. We opened presents, ate turkey and watched Elf, which was Bill’s favourite Christmas movie.

So, overall it was a good year. And more adventures are planned for 2017!

  • In February I’m going to Cuernavaca, Mexico with a group from church and then hopping over to Mazatlan to visit my friends Myrna and Glen before flying home.
  • In June I’m going on a tour of Newfoundland and Labrador with my friend Jo. Hoping I see some icebergs and some puffins.
  • In July I’m going on a bus trip to Haida Gwaii with my friend Betty Lou. Then my year of retirement travelling is done. I’ll do some more camping in August, then get a dog and stay home. And be very content.

I have so much to be thankful for. True, it’s a different life than I was expecting, but it’s not a bad life. I still miss Bill, and always will, but I know he’s near and is always looking out for me.

I hope 2016 was a good year for you as well, and wish you all a very Happy New Year!