Below you see a quick sketch of West Virginia's New River Gorge bridge. Crossing this bridge marked the beginning of what turned out to be one of the most challenging, unique and fun-filled nature vacations I've ever experienced.
There were moments early on when I wondered if I would make it through the week. But then, that's the beauty of group energy and peer enticement--the kind of enticement that is centered on curiosity, discovery and nature's wonders. When you're feeling faint of heart, you just look around. Your inside dialog will go something like this: "If she can do it, you can too" or "Do you want to miss any of this?" Soon it shortens to, "Buck up, kiddo!" And off you go, without missing a beat, one foot in front of the other, forgetting that you ever had a moment's hesitation.
And did I mention the cushy parts of this experience? Gourmet dinners served with choice of beverage and amazing desserts, inspiring presentations by accomplished naturalists, congenial and tireless hosts that kept everything going smoothly. Add to this, expert guides leading every field experience and the fun of seeing and learning about new birds and the world that surrounds them. Now you have an idea of what this festival is all about.
So I'll be reporting on all the fun and birds we shared in the next several posts and while I'm at it, enjoying it all again through photographs and sketches.
Below: Black-and-White Warbler
Above Photos: #2: the gorge beneath the bridge; # 3: the Farmhouse accommodations at Opossum Creek resort; # 4: the Farmhouse welcomes the Flock; # 5 and 6: Fellow bloggers Susan Kailholz-Williams and Debbie Barnes at Pies and Pints in Fayetteville, WV.
Electronics go well with food, right?
WV's New River Birding and Nature Festival
National Park Service, New River Gorge Website
Susan Kailholz-Williams--Susan Gets Native.