Thursday, May 08, 2008

Grumpy Old Man

I can't explain why I've been a little grumpy lately. It seemed like small disappointments always had such profound effect on my overall demeanor. By and large I am even-tempered, even approaching nonchalance in my attitude towards life. As of late, however, perhaps subconsciously, I wanted higher returns on our "investments".

Consider our last trip to Texas. We spent about $1,000.00 for a 5-day birding vacation. Please realize that I am unemployed and my wife's pay is not quite renumerative and thus this travel leaves quite a dent in our budget. We went to Texas with the expectations of adding a minimum of 40 species to our lifelist. I thought, OK, that is a good enough return for the cost of the trip. We eventually ended up with 30 species and despite that, I felt cheated. Maybe our car accident on the first day contributed to my moodiness and resulted in some poor decisions as to places and times to go birding. We could easily have added 10 more to our lifelist if only...we ventured further into the Bolivar Peninsula, if only we joined the Rail Walk at Anahuac, if only we birded on the morning of our last day, and so on and so forth.

Then last Saturday, with the cost of gasoline at near $4 a gallon, we travelled some 60 miles (one way) to try for the Hermit Warbler and Lazuli Bunting in Costa Mesa. We missed both birds and that made me unhappy despite seeing the equally uncommon MacGillivray's and Yellow Warblers. Dipping on our target species and a general lack of good sightings at the places we visited gave me the conclusion that we had a poor return on our gasoline expenses. That made me a bit morose.

And so, I apologize for the caustic tone of my recent blogs. Things will change for sure and I know I will soon learn to appreciate again the joys that birding can bring.

Surely this is nothing that a pint of Ben & Jerry's can't cure.

No comments: