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Where Bloggers Live: What's in My Suitcase

Welcome back to the monthly edition of Where Bloggers Live! I am lucky to have joined a terrific group of bloggers who give a peek into the places and spaces where they spend their time.

Where Bloggers Live

Today's topic is What's in My Suitcase?...and wow, what a timely topic given that our intrepid leader Bettye has just moved from New York to South Korea, and she's carrying most of her possessions around in her suitcase(s)! My own suitcases are sitting in the closet, gathering dust for the last few years, and are probably empty other than those things that always seem to accumulate and never get removed: partially-used pocket packages of Kleenex, cough drops, pens that are out of ink, and a plastic bag or two. If I were Gollum from The Hobbit, my list of possible answers to the not-quite-a-riddle of What's in My Suitcase? would include those things instead of "handses," "fish-bones, goblins-teeth, wet shells, a bit of bat wings, a sharp stone," "string or nothing."

But in the spirit of Gollum answering Bilbo's question with the kinds of things he always keeps in his own pockets, I wondered what I always pack in my suitcase that is unusual, something that not everyone packs. And while my own collection of items that I always bring when I travel is absolutely not as strange as goblins-teeth and bat wings, it is atypical.

Answer: my binoculars, the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, a small pocket-sized spiral notebook, and a pen. Because if I go anywhere at all, I will be looking for birds! And in the last 8 years or so, my suitcase also contains my camera so that I can photograph these birds. My bird photography skills are modest at best, but birds are such outrageously photogenic creatures that even I manage to get some interesting images!

And on some occasions, even when my photograph is terrible, I'm still glad to have the shot as a memento of the experience. Like seeing my life* Ivory Gull in Duluth, MN, standing in the January cold, trying to pick out the one unusual gull from all the others in the far distance using the digital zoom on my tiny camera attached to my husband's tripod while people looked at me like I was insane. It was funny when some of the people standing near me realized I actually had it on my viewfinder more clearly than some people did in their spotting scopes, and I ended up with a group of people looking at the rare gull through my little camera. *A "life bird" is "a species that a birder has seen and identified in the wild for the very first time in their life" (source). So having even this very rough photograph of my first (and to date, only) Ivory Gull is a big deal to me!

Ivory Gull
Ivory Gull - Duluth, MN - 1/9/2016

Here are 10 other birds I have seen and photographed on my travels.

Cooper's Hawk
Cooper's Hawk - my sister's yard in California - 12/25/2017
Red-whiskered Bulbul
Life Bird: Red-whiskered Bulbul - Los Angeles, CA - 12/22/2017
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron - San Jacinto Mountains (CA) - 12/19/2017
Black-necked Stilts
Black-necked Stilts - Salton Sea (CA) - 12/18/2017
Green Heron
Green Heron - Salton Sea (CA) - 12/18/2017
Osprey - San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary (CA) - 12/17/2017
Say's Phoebe
Say's Phoebe - San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary (CA) - 12/17/2017
American Wigeon
American Wigeon - Upper Newport Bay (CA) - 12/17/2017
Western Grebe
Western Grebe - Upper Newport Bay (CA) - 12/17/2017
Blue Jay
Blue Jay - my parents' yard in Oklahoma - 12/18/2016

Thanks for joining me in sharing what's in my suitcase...and what I do with a few of the critical things I pack in it!

Next month's topic is Hair Care Routine...and the biggest question is: Will I talk about hair, hares, or both?

In the meantime, visit these lovely bloggers as they share about their suitcase contents:

Bettye at Fashion Schlub

Daenel at Living Outside the Stacks

Em at Dust and Doghair

Iris at Iris’ Original Ramblings

Jodie at Jodie’s Touch of Style

Leslie at Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After

Do you routinely pack anything unusual in your suitcase? Do you take a camera when you travel...or do you rely on your phone? Do you like doing nature photography (regardless of your skill level)?

Blogs I link up with are listed here.

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