The ride to Rocksprings
I am currently still at elevation here on the Edward's plateau - 2,400 feet to be exact. Tomorrow I will drop close to 1,600 feet as I ride the 70 miles south to Uvalde. As I drop off the plateau, I should start picking up some new birds! Several of the Rio Grande birds (Great kiskadee, Couch's kingbird, Green jay, Long-billed thrasher) reach the northern limits of their ranges right at the southern edge of the plateau. Finding a few of these in the next few days will be a huge morale booster after the last week in the bird-desert of the I-10 corridor in winter. Who knows, maybe we could be close to 600 in a week! If that's not motivation I do not know what is!
Right now I am getting really excited about the book I think should result from this year. I am hoping to meld my adventure this year with funny, enlightening stories about my birding and personal past. I also hope to put a strong emphasis on conservation as it relates to the places I have visited and the species I have seen this year. I do not want this book to be just a memoir. I want it to be that plus a well-researched and educational window into conservation policy and our relationship with the environments around us. It would be so interesting to use this bike trip to connect seemingly unrelated issues of fisheries management in the northeast with invasive species in the Everglades with cattle grazing plans in Texas with logging in the Pacific Northwest with drought management policies in California. As each of these environmental challenges will ultimately affect the birds in these places, I think that a conservation-based exploration of the birds I sought on my trip would be really cool. Anyway, just some crazy ramblings on a day without too much roadside content!