Saturday, February 25, 2023

Well Hello There

A hand and dust rag deliberately move across the computer screen from corner to corner, wiping away the dust and grime that has accumlated over 6 years of neglect...... 

Ah, there you are!  I remember you. My blog. PrairieIce. My first foray into social media before the likes of Facebook and Instagram came along with their allure of of keeping in touch with old and new friends and throwing photos out into the world with just snippets of context. 

I recently found myself longing for the chance to delve deeper into explanations and context for my photos and thoughts.  And then earlier this week when I was trying to remember the dates when I carved out some travel time to visit Everglades National Park I realized I was blogging pretty regularly back then. That search for dates and my experiences in the Everglades brought me back here and I realized that I already had a spot to satisfy my desire for more - so here I am again. No promises, but I am hoping to keep the dust at bay for a while. 

I completed another journey to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island, and the Antarctic Peninsula last November (2022) as a guide for Naturalist Journeys. I plan on revisiting that trip here in the next few months and I hope to have another couple of trips to write about this summer, including a trip to Svalbard, my first trip back to the high Arctic in nearly a quarter century.  So, this is the first step in the promise to myself to dust off the blog, share some photos and stories, and get back into writing a bit more regularly. And share a couple of photos too. 

Burrowing Parakeet
Burrowing Parakeet

This Burrowing Parakeet (Cyanoliseus patagonusone of my favorite observations from my trip. I had wanted to see this species since I first started heading south nearly 30 years ago. This trip was my best chance. Our trip was the first of the Southern Hemisphere summer season for the Hondius, the Oceanwide ship that was to be our home for the next few weeks. Rather than beginning our voyage at the usual jumping off point in the far north of Argentina, we started our trip much farther north at Puerto Madryn south of Buenos Aires. I was excited to see a new part of Argentina and see a few new birds, with this species occupying the top of the list. One of the members of our group had arrived a couple days early and relayed to me that he had seen a few along the way from the airport to the hotel. Unfortunately we had arrived too late in the day and that trip was in the dark for the rest of us to see much. The next morning we ventured out for a day of exploration further south (more on that later) and as we gathered for breakfast I found out that another member of our group had observed a couple of Burrowing Parakeets fly past the hotel window. Missed again. A full day of birding and exploring and still no Burrowing Parakeets to see. The next day we were scheduled to board the ship in the afternoon and I decided to make sure I rose early to have a few hours to myself before our group activities began. I headed up the hill just past our hotel where there were a number of previous observations. A few Chilean Flamingos foraging in the low tide waters, glowing pink against the deep blue waters caught my attention for a bit, but I knew this was my best opportunity to catch a parakeet close to their roost before they headed off to feed for the day.  As I neared the top of the hill I caught a psittacine silhouette on a wire. It was still a bit further up the hill and backlit...was it what I wanted it to be? I hustled up the hill a bit further and soon confirmed that it was indeed a Burrowing Parakeet! I spent a bit of time watching it hang out on the wire, stretching and occasionally calling, until I decided to see what else I could find and I moved back down the hill, He was still sitting on the wire when I last saw him.  It turned out that this was the only Burrowing Parakeet I observed on the trip despite looking more later in the day with the group. It was a good day already. 


Jackson Frishman said...

Good to see you back on the Artisan Web, John, where object permanence and content presented the same way to every user are still concepts. I continue to think it's worthwhile.

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