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Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I was in shock today

I was scheduled to rove this morning, and as I set out it was a chilly 44* and overcast with a breeze from the north.  No problem, I thought, I’ll just get the Chevy Impala refuge vehicle this morning and crank up the heat.  You know what they say about the best laid plans…

_MG_1149Remember that open air electric cart I used on a nice sunny afternoon a couple of weeks ago?  Yep, it was the only vehicle available for volunteer use when I got to the maintenance area.  Okay, I made a quick trip back to the rig to get a pair of gloves.  My first trip along the Swamp Island Wildlife Drive was taken at a very slow speed.  I hate being cold, and the faster you go in an open vehicle, the colder it is. Annoyed

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There were some new overnight avian arrivals that I spotted.  It’s hard to decipher because of the dreary day, but this is a nice flock of American goldfinches.

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There were hundreds of goldfinches flitting through the marsh.  It was very similar to the arrival of the robins that I saw about a week and a half ago.  Notice how puffed up they are?  They don’t like the cold either I’m thinking.

I had to go back to the VC to defrost my fingers for a while, but then I headed out again.  A few people thought I was nuts for going back out, but I’m sure glad I did.  As I drove along, I came upon a gentleman standing outside his car looking at birds through his binoculars.  I approached very slowly so as not to scare away what he was looking at.  I asked if he had seen anything good, and he replied, “Anytime I’m looking at birds it’s good.”  Nice attitude!  I waved as I drove past him and continued down the drive, but something was nagging at my mind.  He sure looked familiar for some reason. 

My mind was working overtime as I slowly made my way down the road.  Why would this extremely tall (6’6”+) man trigger something from my memories?  Eventually, the name of Jeff came to mind with thoughts of the time I lived in New York.  During that time, I was a federally licensed bird bander that ran a spring and fall migration bird banding station.  One of my activities during the spring of each year in the late 80’s and early 90’s was to go up to Braddock Bay on Lake Ontario to band the spring migrating raptors.  What an exciting time that was!

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Those memories made me turn around and head back toward that vehicle.  This time the man and a woman were standing in the road looking at birds.  When I saw the New York license plates, I slammed on the brakes, got out, and asked if his name was Jeff.  As we looked at each other, he said, “Judy Bell???”  It was Jeff and Joan Dodge standing before me!  They had established the Braddock Bay Raptor Research group back in the 80’s, and I had parked my little trailer in their driveway each spring for a number of years so I could band hawks.  We had not seen each other for about twenty years!  We kind of lost touch after I had to move to Minnesota.  What a shock this was to see them!  Especially in the middle of a swamp on the back roads of Georgia!  Cool beans!!!

We visited for a while, and then I had to get back to work and they had to get on with enjoying their vacation.  As I sit here tonight reliving this morning in my thoughts, I’m still flabbergasted.  After twenty years, who would of thought we’d cross paths again so far away from Upstate New York and so far off the beaten path in Georgia.  All I can say is that is was an amazing blast from the past and has brought back so many wonderful memories…

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

35 comments:

  1. What an amazing coincidence. I bet that made riding around in that cold vehicle worth it.

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  2. That is so fun. Love these "small" world happenings.

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  3. Turned in to a great morning for you. Fun to meet old friends especially when it is such a surprise.

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  4. Another example of what a small world this truly is...Great story!

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  5. I hate being cold...

    Uh huh...we can relate to that!

    Small world indeed. We experienced that when we met a former co-worker of Ruth's. In Iceland, of all places! Strange, isn't it??

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  6. What a great surprise for you. Wonderful how your memory put it all together in time for you to go back. Love this story of serious birders meeting up again after so long.

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  7. Small world - or 'birds of a feather, flock together'? Y'all clearly love birds and you met again in a great locale for birdwatching.
    They say that if you sit long enough along the Champs Elsees, you'll see someone you know (I never did).

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  8. What a great story. To run into someone you lost contact with 20 years ago is truly amazing. the stars were perfectly aligned for the two of you, today.

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  9. What a wonderful, shocking" reunion. I'll bet that made you warm all over... or forget how cold you were.

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  10. How cool is that?! Awesome that you met up with old friends!

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  11. You bird people seem to (eventually) flock together. What a great thing that you were able to meet up again!

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  12. It's a smal world after all
    It's a small, small world ... isn't there a song that goes something like that :-)

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  13. I love reconnecting with old friends and am thrilled that you had that chance meeting! We still have a few stubborn Robins here in the Indy area.

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  14. What a very nice surprised. I am only guessing, but I bet you warmed up real fast when you recognized them.

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  15. Oh please, I sure wish your previous posters did NOT mention that song - now I'll not be able to get it out of my head all day!

    Isn't it great you remembered who he was BEFORE they left?

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  16. I soooo believe in things happening for reasons...This is one of them...You went back out into the cold for a reason...You're right..cool beans!!

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  17. always great to cross paths with old and new friends...

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  18. That was a cool happening...no pun intended. Amazing how paths cross from time to time.

    Love the pix of the goldfinches, they are the state bird of my home state (NJ). Always enjoy seeing them.

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  19. That is so neat! Hard to forget a guy that is 6'6"! The more we travel, the smaller the world gets....

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  20. LOL! That's pretty wild! So cool that you are all continuing to do what you love.

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  21. In the back woods of Georgia! It really is such a small world. Love the gold finches.
    Syl

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  22. Cool beans, indeed! What an amazing coincidence to meet up in Georgia.

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  23. What a great visitor for you. And to remember the faces after all those years.

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  24. That is great, it is always good to reconnect with friends. I hate to be cold as well.

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  25. Just meant to be... how wonderful to meet up again!

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
    Karen and Steve
    (Old Blog Name) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard
    (New Blog Name) RVing: This Country Is Our Big Backyard
    http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com

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  26. Congrats on a successful day: More birds and birders!

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  27. Hopped over here from Kimbopolo's blog. Am so glad I did - love it! :) Jana Stanfield, one of my favorite musicians, once said, "Coincidence is God remaining anonymous. Serendipity is God signing His name. Synchronicity is God showing off." I think He was showing off when you saw your friends. LOL.

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  28. Judy, I agree wholeheartedly with the above comment. I think it makes God happy to surprise us now and again.

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  29. Cracked me up when you said cool beans! I say that all the time! And I think it almost every time I read your posts because you have a very cool beans existence! ;)

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  30. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your Blog

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