We pulled in Friday night around 8.30pm. A chill hung in the air as the cold front moved in. The stars must have been hiding because it was pitch black outside and I was excited to get there, get out of the car, and settle in for the night. The six hour drive was exhausting and I was anxious to see the birds.
“There“ was a quick weekend visit with my husband’s folks at their favorite vacation park in Overgaard, Arizona. Overgaard sits in Navajo County, situated atop the Mogollon Rim at an elevation of 6,627 feet. We were able to squeeze in a quick visit just before the park was scheduled to close down for the winter, and what a glorious weekend it was. The temperatures got down into the 30s at night, and both Saturday and Sunday were sunny brisk days. It was perfect sweater weather, and I wished I had brought one.
Saturday was splendid. We kicked off the morning with fresh hot coffee and home-made cinnabons. We made a quick stop at Wild Wood gifts in Heber where I purchased a wood-carved bear with a scar on his left cheek; we named him Scarface. That afternoon we trekked over to the local Octoberfest for some outdoor dining and live music (courtesy of Black Horse Brewery). Amidst all that I got some fine birding in.
I quickly recognized those species common to our backyard in New Mexico: chipping sparrows and hummingbirds, not to mention the crows and a raven. And I was surprised when my in-laws informed me that the Steller’s Jays were new arrivals for them this year; another common species at our place, but my in-laws had never seen a Steller’s Jay at their park… not until now. Same with the blue birds. In fact, they both raved on and on about seeing six bluebirds lined up at their bird bath just the day before! What a treat!
I couldn’t agree more. The Bluebirds and Steller’s Jays were definitely a treat and I wondered… were they really new arrivals to the park this year, having not been there before? Or had they always been there and just not observed by my in-laws until now? It’s amazing how much more noticeable birds become to others when an active birder shows up to help point out all the different species. Regardless, I grinned with delight when I was blamed for having brought all the birds with me.
The yellow-bellied sapsucker and dozen or so yellow-rumped warblers were equally special. And the yellow flashes from the goldfinches that darted in and around the thistle sock were a dazzling sight! Yep, we had lots of yellow! Lots of blue! And a little red from the sapsucker! It was a festivity of color!
Time sped by and Saturday was here and gone in a flash. But I was glad to have pictures of our whirlwind visit – pictures of the birds, and of course of my husband and his folks.
Sunday morning we kissed everyone goodbye and started our drive back. Mom waved and yelled out, “Come back soon, and remember to bring the birds with you!”
I couldn’t help but smile again.
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