Thats what we call it. The official name is “The New River Birding and Nature Festival.”
I have to say, it is as fun for me to help organize the event as it is to go birding all week. We love doing it. Even the week-long frenzy of chores, like putting the tent up, shopping and gardening, and cooking for 80-90 people per night.
We even have our own version of “Chopped,” without all the stress. Our version involves bringing new recipes/dishes in to share at lunch, then deciding which are selected to be prepared during the festival. This year’s surprise winner was the homemade vegan ice cream! Yep, I just said that. We knew we had a winner when, while staring at 4 great flavors, the kids picked IT for seconds, and thirds, and is it all gone? We saw the same thing happen during the festival, and ended up making it several nights. It was soooo good!
The funny thing: I am not the only one who finds joy in the event as much as or more than the birds. You want to know how I know this?
There were no birds this year. Yet it was “the best one yet,” according to a long-time repeat guest.
We saw birds. It was not really NO birds, just not what we are used to. The Migration was late. Heck, the whole spring was late. The Amazing Jim McCormac put it at a full 2 weeks delayed. So while we saw some birds and some cool plants, everyone had a great time. A really great time. I was reluctant to mention it, fearing I would jinx something. But by the weekend, it was clear we had just pulled off another amazing week with wonderful guides and guests, and we can’t wait to do it again next year.
Dang! How are we going to top that one?