In 2014 I started this little wildlife business, I put an ad on Craigslist for a part-time biologst. One responded. She came with passion, all that's required to work with me. She also brought support for the vision. Her enthusiasm was unlooked for; a bright light during the struggle to make this real. It was a tough tough road getting the business to a smooth level. And now it's beyond that, full on groove. The exact plan for it and living...achieved.
Based on previous work, I was recommended to search for yellow-billed cuckoos in mesquite scrub habitat down on the border fence. It was a big enough effort to bring on help. She was game before I finished asking. But, not without sassing me about the dry, patchy, scrubby habitat I was taking us too. She's surveyed cuckoos for hundreds and hundreds of hours in lush riparian corridors. Cottonwood-willow galleries. Sycamore. Ash. Multi-layered canopy fun over hectares of habitat. This is how books describe cuckoo habitat. And she laughed at me.
But, cuckoos don't read books and I just smiled my laid back grin. So, when I saw the shock and smile on her face after finding a cuckoo, the laughing, the joy...passion, I was warm inside, happy and content. Life just being cool. We've since gotten a nesting pair and a single cuckoo. And her excitement. 👌
A few months ago I was looking at desert art on IG and came on a feed with the desert passion, @maria.reneej. I asked her if she would create a cuckoo in mesquite habitat, and sketch onto a field notebook. Well, she nailed it. I picked it up today on a trip to town for groceries. It's beautiful. It has the exact feel of a perching cuckoo. It will be a gift for my helper at the end of the field season. Good thing she doesn't use IG.
I also got a roadrunner. And it's beautiful too. It holds the desert spirit. I have a bad habit of keeping my field book in my back pocket for business and life notes...it's a matter of time before I lose all that data. Now I have a slick notebook w/o data loss risk.
Thank you passionate biologist. Thank you passionate artist. Thanks to everyone around me and crisscrossed paths with me, fortunate to have wonderful humans in my life.