Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Migrating South with a Phoebe

Tuesday, January 12, 2010
We've had snow for most of the last month at Indigo Hill.

Later this month I will be getting onto an airplane with my red-headed daughter Phoebe Linnea to go to Florida for a bit. We'll be participating in the Space Coast Birding Festival in Titusville, FL as speakers/trip leaders. Yes, that's right, Phoebe is launching her career as a birding festival performer and, knowing her as I do, I feel certain that she will surpass me (and perhaps her mom, eventually) within a a short while.

Phoebe dreaming of migrating south.

Getting to split from the frozen wonderland of southeastern Ohio for the less-frozen sand-and-seascape of Florida's east coast has made Phoebe a much happier youngster during our recent string of snow days.

Liam is not happy he's missing the FL trip

Liam is not so happy about this and he's gone into "extracting exclusive trip promises from the parents" mode. We're still sorting through the possibilities, but a dinosaur-viewing trip to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and a bison trip to North Dakota are strong candidates.

Phoebe and I will be giving presentations at three different schools in the Titusville area, plus at the Space Coast Birding Festival itself. After each talk, we'll go outside for a bit of birding. The topic for our talks is kids and bird watching salted with some stories from our work on The Young Birder's Guide to Birds of Eastern North America.

Phoebe's class at Salem Liberty Elementary School spent half of fourth grade, all of fifth grade, and part of sixth grade helping me to create the Young Birder's Guide. We'll talk about how the book was created, how the kids liked it, and about some of the other cool things we discovered along the way.

One of our early appointments during the trip is in Celebration, Florida, where we'll do an interview at Radio Disney on a show hosted by two young gals who are about Phoebe's age. It will be neat to see what Phoebe thinks of this crossroads of pop culture, teen sensation, and mass media.
That's me with the kidcasters from Radio Disney and Sunny, their producer, during an interview in 2009.

When I asked Phoebe last summer if she wanted to go to the festival with me in January, she immediately said "Yes!" Followed by "Wait! Will it be warm there?" When I confirmed that it was likely to be warmer there than in Ohio, she was all in.

This is NOT Ohio in January.

Then I asked the inevitable question, since we'd be flying into Orlando:
"Phoebs, do you want to go to Disney World since we'll be right there?"

And she said immediately:
"NO! I want to see manatees!"

This ranks among my proudest moments as a parent.
Phoebe the bird girl is now in 8th grade!

Of course I also hope to show Phoebe some of Florida's sweet birds, like wood stork, roseate spoonbills, and egrets at Merritt Island, and the limpkins, anhingas, and rafts of ducks at Viera Wetlands. I expect she'll dig these feathered wonders even if it's not sunny and 75ºF the entire week.

American wood stork at Merritt Island NWR near Titusville.

I'm also looking forward to introducing my daughter to some of my friends from the birding festival circuit. She's already met many of them, but being the proud papa, I can't resist showing her off just a bit.

If you're planning to attend the Space Coast Birding Festival, please come to one of our public talks and walks on Saturday, January 30.


On January 12, 2010 at 5:04 PM cyberthrush said...

I'm guessin' there's a roomful of insanely jealous 8th-graders somewhere in Whipple, OH.

On January 12, 2010 at 5:16 PM Julie Zickefoose said...

You realize, I hope, what a position this puts me in with the blonde one.
Phoebe is a wonderful traveling companion. You'll have a great time. I hope it's warmed up by then!

You both need poofy kidcaster hats to wear. I'd recommend a faux-fur vest and Uggs to go with them.

On January 12, 2010 at 6:53 PM jemkagily said...

Oh man. That's some stinkeye action from Liam. He'd better knock it off before he turns all the way into Draco Malfoy.
Congratulations, Phoebe, you're going to be ossum.

On January 12, 2010 at 7:44 PM Mary said...

Watch her shine. Make great memories and treasure every minute! Yes, faux-fur and Uggs all the way.

I can't wait to hear all about it!

On January 12, 2010 at 9:20 PM Phoebe said...

Uggs. I would never.

On January 12, 2010 at 11:55 PM Dave Lewis said...

Bill, your cap was crooked...kids...

On January 13, 2010 at 9:11 AM Beth said...

I'll be there, Bill, and look forward to seeing you again as well as Phoebe (who as you may remember, named my cement chicken - the mascot of the Flock at New River Festival - Beverly). Can't wait.


On January 13, 2010 at 3:41 PM Andrea said...

No, uggs! I don't think so. I would never. Itz a stinky approach. I never do that.

On January 14, 2010 at 7:10 AM DebM said...

Love the manatee comment--you raised her well!!

On January 14, 2010 at 12:16 PM BrendaC said...

Oh that's so cool! A wonderful father and daughter event you will both cherish! Have a great time!

On January 14, 2010 at 2:22 PM Nina said...

Won't you two have a ball? And won't it be a great break from white Whipple.
Maybe you can swim with the manatees. My daughter loved it--a real highlight of a Florida trip.
Best wishes all around.
I'd be a proud papa, too.