Don't let Dreams Rob you of Joy!

By Dave Hanks

An admonition I once heard in a speech has proven so very apt. It was: Dont let what you dont have, keep you from feeling the joy in what you already have. This truism, like so many others, is hard to put into practice. It is an admonition that has become more powerful to me the longer I live.

We have a drive to add quality and diversity to our wildlife photo files. This has necessitated much travel sometimes in less than pleasurable conditions. We have looked for Barred Owls in Missouri, Varied Thrushes on the West Coast, and many other species in other states, only to return home and find many of them right here in Cassia County. Also, on two separate jaunts into the South Hills (once to look for Evening Grosbeaks and the other to find Red-Breasted Nuthatches) we were discouraged and returned home. But, WHOA! Right on our front lawn were about 50 grosbeaks, and on another occasion the nuthatches were on the trunks of a couple of trees in our yard.

When were out and about, people are always asking if I have seen anything exciting. What they really want to know is, if Ive seen a rare species. My reply is that everything I see is exciting and I genuinely feel that way. It is strange to me that someone would spend big money to get to a location to get a glimpse of a rare bird, in order to put another check mark on their life list.

North Heglar Canyon has proven to be as good a photography spot as any others weve visited. We usually make a couple of trips there each year. Lake Cleveland is also quite productive. Our own yard has given us much joy. Three pair of orioles have been nesting here, plus two pair of grosbeaks. Hawks, buntings, tanagers, goldfinch, towhees, nuthatches, chickadees, woodpeckers, owls, and various mammals all these and more we see here at home. I especially love grosbeaks: The Evening and the Black-Headed with his yellow front; orange, white, and black sides, and prominent beak, are grosbeaks we have around us regularly and are a source of great satisfaction!

(A Black-Headed Grosbeak Excitement here at home)