Our day began at 0510, 45 minutes before sunrise. Today’s annual Arches NP Breeding Bird Roadside Survey required us to drive a prescribed 25-mile route and stop exactly every 0.5 miles to listen and look for precisely three minutes. Every bird identified is duly noted on an official form and then submitted to a national data base. Those range maps in your bird books come from all this compiled information about where each species is found.
It was a wonderful morning of birding (if you discount the gnats), and I soon realized that I was being made to pause in places I’ve never stopped at before. I found myself smiling at new rock formations, eyeing fresh drainage systems for future hikes, admiring clumps of flowers I’d not seen before, asking myself why the soil changed abruptly here or there. Simply gaining new perspective was the key to seeing more, and more clearly.
I felt as if I were looking at fifty stunning postcards of Arches.
31 snapshots can be found in this album.