Seven years ago I woke up in Grand Island, Nebraska on the third and final day of my journey from Florida to Utah. The scenery there in Nebraska was quite a change from the Gulf Coast of Florida but as I pulled my Jeep and UHaul trailer onto the interstate I knew the scenery was going to change rapidly throughout the day. I’d been on that road before, many times.
I grabbed my coffee, rolled down my window and listened to the pavement under my tires as I headed west by following the rising sun. Just outside of Grand Island a semi truck threw a rock into my windshield and I knew I would see that crack growing throughout the day. But I was off on another adventure, moving to a new location and was excited about all the wonders I would see. I cranked up the stereo and watched for birds, for wildlife and the changing scenery.
I didn’t know for sure if my move was going to work out but I had thrown off the bowlines and had left safe harbor. I had already set my path to Explore. Dream. Discover.
I grew up an Army Brat constantly moving from one state or country to the next always knowing another move could happen without much notice, that was “normal” for me. Maybe that is where I learned that taking a leap into the unknown can be a great thing to do.
I knew I would miss Florida. No doubt about that but Utah offered four seasons, no hurricanes, mountains, deserts, canyons, alpine meadows and plenty of birds and wildlife.
In the past seven years I have seen and photographed so many birds I didn’t see in Florida including Greater Sage-Grouse battling on a lek on bitter cold mornings high up on the sagebrush steppe. I’ve also photographed birds I did see in Florida during the winter on their breeding grounds here during the summer.
I’ve immersed myself in the Kodachrome colors of the rocks in southern Utah where the Fremont People lived so long ago and visited places that make me wish I could go back in time and walk with them for a single day. Learn from them.
I’ve photographed animals in the wild that I could only see in zoos back east including the wild herds of American Bison on Antelope Island and the Pronghorn I’d never been able to get close to in other western locations where I have lived. And I have woken to the sounds of the Coyotes singing before the dawn and watched American Badgers glare at me from their dens.
I have watched as the morning light lit up Flaming Gorge where a solitary fisherman worked the cold waters while Osprey and Bald Eagles flew overhead. I can’t even begin to list all of the wonderful places I have seen in Utah since I first arrived here seven years ago today but you can see many of those places in my Utah galleries.
I have photographed birds, birds and more birds. In flight, perched, nesting, resting, hunting, eating, pooping, sleeping, raising young, calling, regurgitating, running, swimming, diving and fishing. The list goes on and on. Each day is a new adventure.
My journey in life has taken me to many places and I’m glad that it brought me to Utah where I am enjoying photographing birds, wildlife and scenery. Seven years ago today. Those years have gone by quick!
Life is good.
PS: I made it to Salt Lake City by 6 pm and by then the crack in my windshield had expanded to 3/4 the width of the windshield. My Jeep needed a new windshield any way after all the miles I had put on her.