Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Road Trip Summer 2007

Hey all, if you've been wondering whether or not I've fallen off the face of the planet, fear not, I'm still here! I've been on the road since July 5th with my boyfriend driving across the country to visit his family in North Carolina. We left So Cal in the afternoon on July 5th (I had to go to orientation for my upcoming summer classes at UC Irvine) and took Interstate 40 East the entire way to NC. That night we drove until about 11pm and stayed in Arizona.
Wildflowers from a gas stop in Oklahoma

Our second day on the road we left bright and early and stopped a couple times to rest, eat, and gas up. I got out at one rest stop and took some photos while Drew got a little shut-eye since he did all the driving those first few days. We spent that night in Oklahoma.
This moth is so large, it looks and flies like a hummingbird

Same routine for the next day, Drew drove and I birded out the window, Scissor-tailed Flycathers were a treat, suprisingly common on the telephone lines alone the road. One stop to gas up in Arkansas produced an exciting lifer for me, a White-eyed Vireo, and an American Snout butterfly as well! We drove at least 16 hours that day and made it to North Carolina by 4am.

This White-eyed Vireo was very active and hard to photograph!

This American Snout butterfly was a lifer for me

We spent the next day relaxing and I birded his parent's yard, which held a couple lifers for me, especially since I haven't been out to the east coast since becoming a serious birder. Eastern Towhees, Red-headed Woodpeckers, Tufted Titmice, Carolina Chickadees, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and Northern Cardinals, were just a few of the birds I saw while there.

Anyone care to I.D. these frisky beetles?

We flew up for a business-related trip to New York, which was exciting for me even though there wasn't much time for birding, as it was my first trip to NYC.

These adorable baby bluebirds were nesting in Drew's parent's mailbox, she put a note for the mailman so he wouldn't shove mail into their nest!

We spent another few days in North Carolina relaxing, celebrating his birthday, and enjoying the time with his family, then it was time to drive up to Philidelphia to visit other relatives. I saw my very first fireflies ever, and much to his amusement, I ran around the yard chasing them for a few minutes.

Black-billed Magpies were all over the place in Colorado

Finally we got on the road towards home, this time taking the more northern Intersate 80 West all the way to Denver where we stayed with his uncle one night, then on to Steamboat Springs, after sitting parked on the I-70 for nearly two hours while a mudflow was being cleared off the highway, to stay one night with my cousins, ride the alpine slide and enjoy the natural hot springs there - which I highly recommend, but are clothing optional after dark - so we left far before night fell =)

These workers were busy clearing the remains of the mudflow that trapped us on the I-70W for a little over two hours

From Steamboat it was a single days drive home to lovely Southern California!

I think I I.D.ed this butterfly already, but I've forgotten what it was, so anyone?