This Saturday I am bringing my work to the Unique Gift Gala in Hermiston. Many interesting vendors will be there. Click on the image and it will take you to their facebook page for more information. Hope to see you there. My daughter will be joining me but will have her own table selling her jewelry.
Every February I travel to Gilbert, Arizona, for a little R&R girls weekend with my Mother-in-law, sister-in-law and cousin(-in-law), although she had to miss this year. My MIL spoils us with a day at the spa and some serious unwind time hiking the desert and lounging in the pool. I've been going out a few days early before our official girls weekend starts to do some work. Birds flock to the area for their mild, typically 70's temperature winters. One area I've discovered (with the help of my in-laws) is the Gilbert Water Ranch. It's a haven for birds. And photographers. This past weekend I photographed 20 species, primarily shorebirds, but also an osprey, hummingbirds, turtles and rabbits. It was a very rainy weekend (which only put a minor crimp in our spa day - ok, I already admitted that we got spoiled). But the birds didn't mind and I had my umbrella (mostly to protect the camera and lens) so I didn't mind either. We even had a special visitor, a Cackling Goose. The Cackling Goose, which I was not aware of until my new friend, Babs Buck, informed me, looks just like the Canada Goose, only smaller. You can see that in the picture below. Actually, it's a newly recognized species, Branta hutchinsii. It's range doesn't even include Arizona, so what a special treat for a visit.
Another site that I discovered was a man-made habitat for burrowing owls at Zanjero Park in Gilbert, AZ. Just 6 feet away from the sidewalk are the entrances to the owls' homes. 100 burrows in all but not nearly that many birds. The few I did see were incredibly amazing. They do tend to stay there year round, raising their young in the spring. However, those that did not raise young may choose to migrate. One owl and I sat through a heavy rainstorm together. I thought he was going to fly off as he slowly spread his wings but he stayed on his perch and stayed there for what I can only figure to take a shower. And a good one it was.
If you get down to southern Arizona in the winter, I highly recommend these two sites. The week after I met Babs, she went further south in Arizona to a small area called Patagonia for birding. She told me the birding was excellent. She will be posting to her blog soon. If you are interested, her blog address is www.babsbirdingexperiences.blogspot.com.