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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Traumatic beginning at Lajitas today

All started out according to plan. At 7:30 AM I parked under a cottonwood tree at Lajitas. My favorite spot, and dragonflies were already abundant. What could go wrong?

A cuckoo, that's what. I heard a cuckoo in the tree above me as I was getting my gear in order and all. Thinking I have no cuckoo photos, I grabbed my camera and began scouting in the tree. Oops, better shut the car door so the interior light goes off. Slam. Oops, didn't remember pushing down the lock button. Must have done it automatically when I cracked the window and put my keys in my fanny pack. Except, the fanny pack was still laying on the car seat. Hadn't strapped it on yet. To make matters worse, I had forgotten to turn off the headlights. Stress! The one thing I'm so trying to avoid.

I placed my camera in the bed of the pickup. Normally there would be a wire in there somewhere. But not today. Next I rushed up the hill to the restaurant and explained my problem. A nice man, I think the manager but with my face blindness not sure, offered to get a wire hanger from somewhere. I waited for what seemed like a really long time, then decided to look around for a wire. Luckily I found some on an old ocotillo screen around some equipment and it wasn't even fastened on any longer. Grabbed it and ran back to my pickup.

It was surprisingly easy to hook the clasp on the fanny pack and drag it up to the crack in the window. Got the clasp out the crack with a little maneuvering and with 2 fingers (all I could get into the crack) I unzipped the bag. By then the man arrived with a hanger. I had him hold the strap while I intended to stick a wire into the pouch. But just then I saw a large tag on my keyring and managed to get ahold of it. That's because it was on the top near the zipper. And that's because when I made my trail I had stuffed the pocket full of flagging. It's not a large pocket anyway. So within 30 minutes I had my impossibly locked pickup open. I hugged the guy, whoever he was. He told me he'd leave the coat hanger with me in case I needed it. Huh! Not ever again in my lifetime!

Blue Dasher

I set out to calm myself down with odonates. Of course I promised myself extra time there. Which worked out well because I carried my little red folding stool with me, and sat in promising locations every chance I got. Kept me from getting tired and since I got there earlier than usual, it was nice and cool.

While I didn't get any lifers, I got a chance to get familiar with the species there. That was an important goal of mine. I need to learn at a quick glance what is worth a second look and what isn't. And I'm always carrying that stool from now on. It weighs practically nothing and by carrying it in the open position, when I want to take a picture (camera on shoulder strap), I just drop it in place. Handy to set something on if I need to put my camera down to dig into my fanny pack or something. I'm getting a good system going and even a favorite circuit to walk.

Swift Setwing

I would have loved to go on to Cottonwood Campground afterwards (to see if the Clay-colored Thrush is still there) but know that midday there is no bird activity. It has to be done early morning. Soon, though.

Checkered Setwing

Red-tailed Pennant

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