Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Find yourself in West Virginia

New River Canyon from Hawk's Nest

I could have gone there alone.
To the woods that are bathed in a fog, tracing the winding path--
another river carves its way between wild places, welcoming birds.
This forest, the breeding ground for many;
others, passers through.
Soaked in the richness of the West Virginia woods,
air thick with song as mist dripping from a branch,
and, as I often wait and watch as one,
all around, so much I do not know.

Rain on new Sassafras

This group gathered--their watch, together.
Parting the curtain, bringing beauty center stage.
From within this wild, to the edge, such loveliness perched for all.
Many eyes watching,
each one so bright,
he dashes forward,
with song.

I would not have seen him, had I been here alone.
I have found myself in West Virgina.

The People of New River

A trip with Wil Hershberger

Early morning at the Meadow House
with Jim McCormac of
Ohio Birds and Biodiversity

Bird banding with Bill Hilton of Hilton Pond

Keith Richardson watching in background

Dave Pollard, KatDoc's World, Jeff Gordon's mom

Julie Zickefoose and Steve McCarthy

Julie Zickefoose and Bill of the Birds at Cathedral Cafe

Walking with Connie Toops

The road at Muddlety Strips

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Susan Gets Native said...

You make us look calm, Nina. That's good. We may have scared large amounts of folks from NEXT year's festival.
I wanna walk on that road again.

Appalachian Lady said...

Thanks for sharing these photos--looks like a great festival in West Virginia.

nina at Nature Remains. said...

There really is no substitute for having knowledgeable birders at your elbow.
As much as I prefer the solitude, especially in rich woods like those of WV, being with those who can catch a glimpse or identify a bird based on song alone, reveals far more than being there on my own could.
And, for many on this trip, geography limits what can be found in the home state of each--rare glimpses can be stolen from the mountains of West Virginia at the New River Birding and Nature Festival.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Whoa, you're as good at people as you are at efts and salamanders. Beautiful job.

Lynn said...

Those West Virginia Hills... I have lived in WV all my life. What a beautiful state we live in. It looks like you had an amazing trip. Glad you got to visit our state!! Great view form Hawk's Nest!!! "Almost Heaven WV"

giggles said...

Blue-throated warbler???? or whom???

Mary said...

Lovely, Nina. Your words and images are stunning.

I, too, could have spent hours alone around the falls and river but being with those fabulous trip leaders opened my eyes to more than I would have seen.

Mara said...

I love that last photo; it's a road going somewhere, but then again, it might not. Lovely! And it looks as if all those People had a great time. Well chosen P

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a wonderful trip Nina. I sure wish I could have been there with you ladies. It sounds like the cream of the crock were all attending. Marvelous photos. A place one would love to be able to absorb more thoroughly.

Jo's-D-Eyes said...

Nice all this People! and the walk was also a good thing right? Very nice post.

Come see my P for abc:)

NCmountainwoman said...

Nina, you definitely get an A+ for your first report on the West Virginia trip! Great photographs and narrative. Welcome home...I'm so glad you had a good time.

TR Ryan said...

So, so beautiful. Our week was poetic and you capture that so well with your words. Yes, for those of us who celebrate our solitude - curtains were indeed parted; curtains of leaves and rain - showing us a rich world of beautiful smiling nature-loving faces, birds and plants who would have otherwise gone unnamed and, miles and miles of breathtaking scenery - and all recapped every evening in loving, laughing detail until the wee hours of the morning. Let's do it again soon!

Deedee said...

Wow, what a fantastic blog you have here! The writing is wonderful and I love all your photos- that little salamander is gorgeous. So glad to have found you.

bobbie said...

It looks like such beautiful country, Nina. And such very good company.

TYRA Hallsénius Lindhe said...

What a DAY Nina! It looks marvellous, I wish I could have been there.



RuneE said...

A beautiful area, and I can understand why so many people wanted to visit it.

Reader Wil said...

How wonderful to go hiking with a group of nature lovers like yourself!

david mcmahon said...

Now THAT is my kind of place!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Nina, you captured such loving expressions on each face. That's what I'll keep close to my heart when I think of that place.

Anonymous said...

I've only been home a day, and you've made me homesick for the farmhouse. What a lovely post,with photos of us and all the beauty around us.

Beth said...

Nina, it was great to meet you and you summed up the week so perfectly in this post. I usually love the solitude, but something about this week made it special - all of you.


Kathi said...

For someone who is often alone, I sometimes found all the people to be overwhelming. But, without them all, I would have missed so much. You really summed up a lot of what I felt about our week together - I am still reeling from all the emotions and experiences we shared.

Nice Blog-roll call.


Bill of the Birds said...

Great post, poetry & pix, Nina. I'm only sorry I did not have the pleasure of leading more of The Flock in the field this year. Perhaps next year? Nice to meet you in person finally, though I already felt I knew you a bit.

Kelly said...

...looks like a wonderful, wonderful time!

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Giggles--West Virginia was FULL of birds--the sweet little warblers, my favorite. I saw 32 life-birds, meaning never before seen by me. And, with each new sighting, more appreciation for these wonderful woods that they can bury themselves within.

Susan, Mary, T.R., Lynne, Wren, KatDoc--I'm glad I'm not alone in feeling rather homesick for our time together. What wonderful memories we share.

Beth--Very glad to have been able to meet you, too.

BOTB--ditto--I still hope to go "Birding with Bill." :-)

Lynn--your state has a deep, deep beauty. Sadly, I had to tear myself away before I had seen enough of it.

Kelly--the drive's not too bad--maybe next year?

Endment said...

I wanted so much to go -- thanks for sharing your experience. Not quite like being there but wonderful

Deborah Godin said...

Oh I just devoured those misty photos - what beautiful country! And what a sharp-eyed bunch of birders you all look!!

giggles said...

Ah, thanks... I'm a black and white kinda gal...unless you're really specific about your subject, I ain't gonna get it... By reading your post, I thought you were refering to one specific lifer... I was out a week and a half ago and saw more warbler types than ever before....and I had no one with me to help... Frustrating and exciting at the same time... Your birding trip will go on my bucket list.....

Robin said...

Sorry I used your words without your permission, but you allowed it once before and I figured as long as I gave you the amazing credit you deserve....

The plant photos aren't mine. They are from the web. We have tulips, daffs, rhodo's and azaela's but that's about it.

But LIFE is on it's way!

poefusion said...

Looks like you and your blogger friends had a nice day. You probably drove right by my house on your way there. I live about 2 hrs from WV.

Your pictures captured the beauty of the mountains well and the company you kept looks warm and inviting.

dguzman said...


Kathie Brown said...

Nina, you amaze me! Wonderful post! And to think we can come here to remember anytime we want too!