Today is a guest post from my sister Linda.
Dad noticed my interest in birds when I was about 6 years old while we were living up in Garden Valley. Dad would take me for walks along the creek and point out different birds to me. He would tell me if they were cavity nesters or ledge nesters and where they went for the winter, or where they came from in the summer. Every spring, he’d locate a nest and set up a spotting scope so that I could watch the eggs hatch and the babies fledge. We would sit out in our yard and mimic different bird calls but he was much better at it than I was!
Throughout the years, Dad brought home many injured and orphaned birds and animals to rehabilitate. Over the years we had a mule deer fawn, a blind raccoon, half a dozen Canadian geese, two or three kestrels, a great horned owl, - and a partridge in a pear tree! My mother drew the line when he brought home 2 black bear cubs, they went to live at the Boise Zoo. There were so many animals that they'll be their own stories!
Everywhere I went with dad, he’d show me cliff swallows, night hawks, waxwings and juncos. He would also point out deer and elk on the mountain sides. We’d sit beside the South Fork of the Payette and watch river otter play and slide. He showed me bobcats, coyotes, beavers, and muskrats. He taught me to watch for tracks and scat when I was out walking alone.
He taught me to tread lightly when in the woods, because everything was something else’s home or food. He helped me to identify plants, some that were edible, some that were dangerous, and many that were just beautiful to look at. In short, he taught me to respect and care for everything around me. To this day, every one of us have a deep love and respect for wildlife and their habitat.
Thanks dad, for sharing your love of everything wild with us. We have done our best to pass it on.