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November 18, 2011 – an anecdote from my Texas Trip

18 Nov

When you attend a festival such as the one Bob and I attended in Harligen, Texas, you can’t help  but meet lots of interesting people.  One of the “characters” that we met was a fellow named Matt Stenger.  Matt is doing a “big year”.  When we first met him on November 8th, he had 665 birds on his list for the year.  He was hoping to add WHITE-COLLARED SEED-EATER to his list that day at the La Laja Ranch (16 miles south of Laredo).  And he was not disappointed.  He, along with all the rest of us, had great looks at the Seed-eater.

When we first took note of Matt, we had just disembarked from our tour bus at the ranch.  It was a cold (in the low 60’s), windy, dusty day.  And there is Matt.  A t-shirt, shorts and BAREFOOT!!!  He was lugging around a camera with a huge lens, in addition to his binoculars and was ready to walk the trails in search of the Seed-eater.  We got to talking with Matt and developed a friendship that lasted thru the festival, as we ran into him repeatedly at various locations.  One of the things that he shared with us was that he has an aversion to footwear.  He does wear shoes or sandals when it is a must (like “No shoes, no shirt, no service” sort of thing), but otherwise he goes barefoot.  We were just amazed to see him working his way on the trails (and you know there are ALOT of thorny, prickly trees and bushes in that part of the country).

Matt keeps a blog charting his “Big Year” progress.  And it makes for interesting reading.  He has about 6 weeks left in which to build his year list.  Good luck and good birding, Matt.

You can click on the links to the La Laja Ranch and to Matt’s blog if you are iterested in reading further.

And just because I can, I have ended this post with a song by one of my recent favourite songstresses (is that a word??)

Adele has quite the voice.  This is “Make You Feel My Love”   

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