|Our Feathered Friends - January 18, 2011|
|Tuesday, January 17, 2012|
Another week has come and gone. I have plans to visit our Bird Guru, Ray, this week and see how he is doing. I also hope to help him type up some articles.
I greatly look forward to his articles and know all of you feel the same. It will be wonderful when he is back to normal and able to do his articles on a regular basis… I know my articles lack a lot of the colorful stories and helpful insight that his contain. Plus he is a social bug and loves to talk about all the people he runs into around town, which is fun to read. I, however, live in Mt. Juliet and spend most of my time around an elementary school…not near as exciting! My two young children provide me little time to socialize as Ray likes to do.
I guess I should have started out a long time ago telling you a little more about myself. I was born in Kentucky but raised most of my life in Indiana, near Evansville for those of you who are familiar with southern Indiana. I graduated college with a degree in psychology and went to work for a computer company in Evansville. This is where I met my husband, John. In 2001, we moved to Mt. Juliet and have been here ever since.
When Ray first started writing his “Feathered Friends” article for The Wilson Post, my husband showed me his article and I became a quick fan. I had been a bird watcher for several years and realized this was someone who could really help me learn more. I believe I was the first person to email Ray, and ever since then an instant friendship and mentorship began.
Ray and I have gone on several birding trips. Many to general areas around Lebanon that he knows to be good sites for locating birds, but other times they were more specific locations. One of my favorite trips was when we went out to Gail and Charles Morris’ house off Old Hickory Lake.
My kids were with me and they also remember this trip because of all the cool stuff they got to see…like baby turtles, a huge bullfrog and lots of birds. This was back in May of 2009 and it still remains one of my favorites.
Ray and I have made several visits to Cedars of Lebanon State Park and also to areas around Old Hickory Lake. I also remember a trip we took to specifically see Cattle Egrets that someone had reported off Academy Road.
One location we visit often is the “blown out bridge” which apparently use to take people to old Lock 5 on the Cumberland River. This is where I saw my first Double-crested Cormorant, as well as several Great Blue Herons (my daughter’s favorite bird).
Several years ago we also took a trip out to the boat dock near Cherokee Steak House. My kids were with me and I’m sure Ray will never forget when the ducks got a bit aggressive and snipped at my daughter’s hand. She was 5-years-old and did not appreciate the ducks actions. She got very upset and instantly climbed Ray’s leg to “safety.” He was kind enough to hold her above their reach It was something we still laugh about to this day.
I also greatly enjoy joining Ray on his “talks” at Garr’s Rental and Feed in Mt. Juliet. He has hosted several educational classes, and it is fun to meet up with fellow readers and listen to Ray’s stories. Ray’s side-kick, Dotty Kim, is always with him when he travels, and it is good to see her as well.
Well, I hope this has given you a little more insight in to who I am and how Ray has become a fun and influential part of my life. I know many of you have your own stories you can tell me of times you’ve seen or gone birding with him, or maybe even just corresponded via email.