Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Some Genuine Gratitude and Another Lifer (Finally).

I have a difficult time dropping the anxiety regarding stuff that I had been very anxious about. Even when the anxiety “spark” is gone, the hot little fire of nerves that it fired-up continues to cook. It is not unlike removing a pointy stone from your shoe, but continuing to have a bruised foot. I wish it had an on-off switch. I wish I had an on-off switch. Hell, who doesn’t.

Last November on the day we collected Troopi from the RV place, I had a vitreous detachment in my left eye. It caused a small circular tear in my retina. After major anxiety (the word of the day), I went to an Optometrist, then to an eye surgeon and in less than 24 hours that small hole had been laser-ed over. Since then many checkups have always produced an “all clear.” So even though my world is seen through lots of floaters now, they are nothing to worry (be anxious) about. They are just annoying.

I had been warned all along that my right eye would probably also have a vitreous detachment within the year, BUT there was very little chance of it causing a retinal tear. I was to watch for “flashes” (which I always have, and have had, and I will never understand) and… something described as a “shower of floaters.” This morning, standing by Troopi at the campground, I had a frigging murmuration of floaters. Like a massive flock of starlings, I had hundreds and hundreds of tiny round dots swirling through my right eye. My anxiety hit eleven.
The view from the campground not long before the murmuration of floaters scared the crap out of me.
Lynn and I got on the internet and the phone and found an OPMS near by and soon I had an appointment at 11am. After a thorough examination, the doctor said that in her opinion, the massive shower of floaters (two hours later 99% of them had dissolved and were gone) had been created by the safe (emphasis on “safe”) vitreous detachment in my right eye. The thing that I was warned to watch for had passed safely. It was over. It did no damage to my retina. Sorted. Sweet. I am fucking grateful.

See, the worry that had created a cloud of anxiety over my head since last November was over… safely. I should be relieved. I AM relieved!! I am also still so used to staying vigilant that it is difficult to drop it and to really have that relief sink in. I am working on it. I really am.

LIFER!! Our lovely friend, Marie Tarrant, picked us up last night and took us out to the Brisbane airport to watch for Eastern Grass Owl. Just before dark, by the light of a gorgeous full moon, we saw one! I was getting some more mozzie spray from Marie (they were biting me through my damn socks!) when Lynn said, “WHOA! What’s that!?” And Marie said, “That’s it!” A Grass Owl passed by giving us lovely views as it flew low and slow across the field. I am SO grateful!
Eastern Grass Owl Lifer Selfie... Marie, Lynn and me.
Tonight is more than a Lifer Night. It is a chill and try and relax night. We are heading south and will be chasing some birds here and there, mostly on our own, but joining friends when they can. Tonight it is just Lynn and me heading over to the local pub here in wherever we are NSW. I am going to have chips and gravy. Yes, for dinner. Think, “Lifer Pie” I am very grateful.

And here are just a few fairly random photos from the last month or so that I never posted in the blog. I am so grateful for these birds and the eyes with which to see them.

Little Kingfisher, Buffalo Creek, Darwin, NT 
Grey Fantail, Alice Springs, NT (will look up subspecies later- it's the one around Alice Springs with so much white in the tail).

Crimson Chat and bug, Coober Pedy. 
White-winged Fairy-wren, Coober Pedy
White-browed Woodswallows on the Barkly Highway, NT
Rainbow Bee-eaters, Cape York, QLD

Pied Monarch, Julatten, QLD        
Variegated Fairy-wren, Inskip Point, QLD 
Red-backed Fairy-wren, Inskip Point, QLD 
Yes, I am grateful, so grateful.

RB AUS Life List: 664
Lynn AUS Life List: 645
Couple’s AUS Year List: 627
Peace. Love. Birds.


  1. giles daubeney20 July, 2016 07:33

    The eyes have it!!!!
    Live the dream!! and when you get home the Werribee treatment plant awaits!

    kind regards
    Giles Daubeney

  2. We will be back at the WTP later next month! It is one of my very favorite places!
    Kind regards back... :)

  3. So happy your nightmare has trotted on by. Knowing that you are immersed in Oz, soak up some extra for me. What an amazing blessing your trip has been. Shall I sign y'all up for Chincoteague in the middle of September? Xoxox

    1. We will just be getting back then and will have much to do after over a year away. That being said... we "might" turn up for one day without signing up for anything.
      We will be going up to the Eastern Shore not too long after getting back because we love it. xoxox!


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