Sunday, June 26, 2005

 Bird class 

I joined the Rocky Mountain Nature Association some weeks back, so that I could take a number of seminars they offer up in Rocky Mountain National Park this summer. The first one of several was a 4-day class called Rocky Mountain Birds, run by retired ornithologist Richard Beidleman, his wife Linda, and his daughter Carol.

If you have never met him or had a chance to take a class or seminar from him, here's my suggestion - DO IT. He is a remarkable fellow, getting a little on in years, but in no way diminished by it. For an 83-year-old gent, he is extremely spry and apparently just as enthusiastic about birds as he probably was 50 years ago. Perhaps the best part of it is that he is a total ham - he was cracking jokes quite often, in between occasions of sharing his long-acquired wisdom on birds. But he pokes fun at himself as often as at anyone else, and is just a real charmer. And I do find it inspiring to see a man his age undeterred at getting up at 5 am at the prospect of going out to see birds, not to mention doing that 4 days in a row!

I won't hesitate to sign up for his class again next year. If not for the birds, just for the sheer entertainment value he provides.

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