At the end of 2017, I decided my mantra for 2018 would be “The Year of Positive Change”. Well, I’ve come to learn that “positive change” is a relative term, and in the wise words of those who came before me: “Be careful what you ask for”. But because I so firmly believe in my 2018 slogan, I have come to accept as positive every change that has occurred this year.
Then again, some of those changes are undoubtedly positive, like the five-month project I was able to complete in mid-July working with Natalie, a BTNEP bird conservation biologist monitoring 50 nest boxes for prothonotary warblers in two locations. In the Mandalay Wildlife Refuge, we captured and banded 5 new females and 19 chicks. At Lake Palourde we captured and banded 30 new females and banded 61 checks. The work conditions were very hot by the end of the project, but the work was very rewarding, and I’m very grateful to have been part of the project.
And then there were my favorite Green Herons that revealed themselves during the last visit to both places. They’re my favorite because of their brilliant coloring, shyness, and quirky behavior and calls.
And other swampy things . . .
I spent my birthday working on the project in July, and we ran out of gas on the way back in. Natalie and I took turns paddling back, and luckily three generations of men in a fishing boat came along and towed us the rest of the way. It’s the first time in all my years of boating that I’ve run out of gas, and I wasn’t nearly as embarrassed as I thought I might have been. All’s well that ends well, because I still managed to meet up with Dotter for a nice birthday lunch, which turned out to be a very nice surprise lunch with two of my closest girlfriends from out of town. Ever seen a grown woman scream at a fine-dining establishment? Now THAT was rather embarrassing!
Life changed again less than a month after this project ended. We added another granddaughter to the family. Yes y’all, Termite is now a father! Many of you have kept up with his antics for the past 11 years, from a boy to a man, and now a father. Welcome Kysleigh Elizabeth to the family. We call her Ky for short. She’s now almost three months old. I didn’t know it was possible for my heart to hold so much for love for yet another little girl. They are just so precious–just like everybody said!
Lastly, I experienced some personal health scares and struggles since the project ended, but I won’t go into details except to say that I’m on the mend and getting back into the swing of things slowly but surely, and I have a clean bill of health now. I’ve continued to do the monthly radio show. Camp business has been very slow, and the tours have been non existent since my boat is blocked in by water hyacinth. Nothing to do there but wait for them to die back so I can resume with my wetland tours. I’m looking forward to getting back out on the water on a regular basis and hopefully catching some speckled trout and sharing photos.
Thanksgiving will be here before we know it, and I’m planning to test out a new recipe this T-day. If it’s a keeper, I’ll share the recipe with you later!
So friends, I’ve really missed hearing about your lives and how things are going with you. Did anybody do any summer preserving? Summer vacations? Fall trips to see the leaves? Tell me what’s been going on in your world!