The Wings of Change

To become one with nature is a goal I wish to accomplish before I leave this world. Being here is Alamosa has greatly helped me in achieving this. From sunrise to sunset, I am surrounded by the beauty of this planet. As I snuggle up in bed, I am lulled to sleep by the calming “hoo, hoo-hoo… hoo…. hooah” of the two great horned owls that have claimed the tree in my backyard as theirs. I am awoken promptly at 7:30am by the song of the magpie that has taken the role of my alarm clock. When I’m at home relaxing, a brave spider rapidly runs across my hand as I reach over for the remote. I can only assume that it does not wish for me to change the channel. Last but not least, I am greeted every morning by the friendly, yet bashful, horses that share the dwelling with me. This is truly living…

As I patiently await for the arrival of our migratory friends, I sit in awe as I look through data of the different species and numbers of shorebirds that have visited the Blanca Wetlands. From this data, I have gained great insight on what birds I should be expecting in about a month. The most common birds that grace us with their presence are the American Avocet, Wilson’s Phalarope,  and the Baird’s Sandpiper. It was observed that 1,800-3,000 of each of these majestic birds can be seen scavenging for food in our playas. As my mind begins to put all this data together, I gain a painful insight…. The snowy plovers have declined drastically from 2002 to 2013. Over 90% of the population has ceased to visit the wetlands. If that’s not a good indication of a decline in shorebirds, I don’t what is……… I hope they will be saved before they completely cease to exist. It gives me more reason to do my best in documenting shorebirds for this internship.

On a brighter note, my amazing mentor Jill Lucero, gave my fellow partner, Mianna, and me an overview of the history of the Blanca Wetlands. The presentation went as followed: history, aquifers, bugs, decline in population, water management,  hispanic women in leadership positions, and finally more on history. As you can see, the conversation was all over the place. It is one of the many great characteristics of Jill. My brain was filled with so much knowledge and delight that day. I can’t wait to hear more 🙂

Finally, the most exciting experience this week happened about four hours ago. I was given the opportunity to spend the day with a wildlife biologist, a botanist, a hydrologist, and a archeologist. We visited two recreational areas that needed to be inspected for endangered species and plants, erosion on soils, and archeological sites that would need to be preserved. Throughout the day i learned about how a change in a certain habitat could impact certain endangered or delicate species of animals and plants. I also learned about the history of the Navajos who used to live in that area. The archeologist, Geoff, showed me a hide blind on top of hill. He painted a vivid picture of Navajos hiding behind a carefully arranged layer of rocks, as they looked at a herd of wild buffalo resting in the prairie nearby. They readied their spears and prepared to catch their dinner. I could hear the herd of buffalo begin to run as spears began to fly across them… Its amazing what a pile of rocks can tell you!

Looking forward to what awaits me next week!

Penitent Canyon

Penitent Canyon

Painting

Painting

Navajo Hide Blind!

Navajo Hide Blind!

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