Thank yous

Flight Centre at Cambridge for sorting out my flights and car hire and especially Samantha for moving quickly just before I left to correct the mistake of my car hire being booked at a different airport from the one where I arrived and left!

I was lucky, in the Wayne National Forest to meet several Forest Service staff who were incredibly helpful when I asked how I could see some really old trees.  Dawn McCarthy pointed me in the direction of her husband, Brian, who just happens to be a professor at the University of Ohio in Athens and is an expert on old growth forest and vice-chair of the American Chestnut Foundation.  Brian was kind enough to point me in the direction of Dysart woods which happened to be near somewhere else that I needed to go anyway (sorry to be so mysterious – you’ll need to buy the book).

In Wyalusing State Park, Wisconsin, I met Bev Pozega who shares my enthusiasm for passenger pigeons and was not only great to talk to but also helpful with information on getting gas etc

Michael Federspiel of the Little Traverse Historical Society for providing lots of information at Petoskey.

At Cornell, many people, but especially:

  • Matthew Young and Jennifer Smith for arranging for me to talk there
  • Jessie Barry and Chris Wood for putting me up and showing me loads of birds – the two of you hooting into the dark, with fireflies in the trees, to encourage a barred owl to talk to us will stay with me as a memory for ever!
  • John Fitzpatrick for introducing me for my talk and for continuing friendship
  • Tom Schulenburg for showing me a drawer full of extinct birds and letting me hold a passenger pigeon in my trembling hands
  • and many others for discussions

Laura Kammermeier for being one of those people that you meet on the internet and then find that they are very nice real people too – see you at Bird Fair!

Danielle at Manhattan’s Flint Hills Discovery Center for being lovely and very helpful.

Wendy at the Tall Grass Prairie National Preserve for being lovely and giving me useful tips on where to stay locally – saving me time and money.

Alex at the Longhorn Saloon, Strong City, KS for being lovely and staying open and feeding me even though I arrived only 10 minutes before closing.

Monterey Bay Whale Watch for providing some of the top wildlife-watching moments of my life as well as of this trip and especially Kate Spencer for her knowledge, enthusiasm and good humour.

Liam O’Brien for a great day with butterflies in San Francisco (and thanks to the Xerces Society and Bob Pyle for putting us in touch)

All at Tucson Audubon but particularly Paul Green for arranging for me to talk there and for being a very kind host.

Chris Cokinos for the signed copy of  ‘Hope is the thing with feathers‘ that I re-read on my return flight.

Richard Fray for being a great bird guide and a real laugh.

Larry Morgan for having a lovely accent and great hummingbirds in his ‘yard’.

Mary Jo Ballater for conversation that was good enough to distract me from the swarms of birds in her back yard.

The Outback Steakhouse at 11600 Research Blvd, Austin for providing an excellent steak as my last US dinner (with sweet potato fries) but also accurate, cheerful advice on where to go to see the Mexican free-tailed bats.

And all those waitresses and all those ladies who loved my accent…



8 Replies to “Thank yous”

  1. THANK YOU for your blog about your US of A road trip which has kept us entertained for weeks. I’ve relived some happy memories of my visits their when my husband was alive. The book is on my wish list for as soon as its out <3

  2. And thankyou Mark for taking us with you via this blog, always informative always interesting even when we don’t comment.

  3. Thank you too Mark for taking the time to blog about your journey – it has been a fascinating and entertaining read every day! I will definitely be looking out for the new book!

  4. As everyone else has said, a big thank you to you, Mark! It’s always a pleasure to show a fellow Brit my adopted home of southeast Arizona and I’m so glad you enjoyed it as much as you did. It’s fun when someone actually gets my sense of humour! Or humor, as I have to say now.

    I’m still forlornly looking for that hummingbird, by the way… I think I always will be! 😉

    1. Richard – thanks! Good luck with the hummingbird. It has to have been either blue-throated or plain-capped starthroat but having looked at images of both I couldn’t pick between them. And my memory of it is by now unreliable anyway. I hope you see both! I hope you see both today! I gather it’s a bit hot, even hotter than usual, in your part of the world right now. Here I have completed my BBS squares and am settling back to the routine of writing, writing, writing.

  5. Mark,like the fact that a relative celebrity makes the point of thanking so many people,well done as lots of people forget that part.

    1. Dennis – I have always liked being thanked myself, if I feel I have deserved it. And so have always tried to remember to thank others – I’m sure I’ve failed often in that.

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