End of an Era



So the project I’ve worked on since 2007 (minus 1.5 seasons, sure) is all over. ALL OVER. How the hell am I supposed to deal with this, huh? The Golden-cheeked warblers (and black-capped vireos) are my buddies! It all feels empty and weird. So weird! So empty! Gahh! I’m gonna go squat like a hobo on the field sites next year and run around after my bird friends just because I can. You can’t stop me! I handle change so well!

fledgie

Golden-cheeked warbler with a tasty treat

Female at her nest

What else… End of the field season always is pretty crappy and sad; this year much more so. It didn’t help that my last (black-capped vireo) nest check was absolutely brutal. F-ing fire ants eating dead nestlings. I went the whole season not having to go through this and then boom!, last day in the field, in my face. Death. Didn’t handle that all too well, not that I ever do.

The one good thing about booking it out of my happy place is that I won’t have to dwell with black widows anymore. My life was full of spiders this season. Spiders, okay, fine. No problem. But black widows? Eh. I first discovered them living (and thriving) underneath some of my cactus pots. A fatty female with a couple egg sacs. After further inspection, I found a few more females (+ more egg sacs) in the tarp covering Hans Henry and Big Tex (my bikes–uh, bike bikes not motorcycles, just to make that clear). In the end, the count was something like 17-19. Whoa, guys! I think I handled this surprisingly well, considering they were living pretty much right under my bed…

Female black-capped vireo on her nest

Jill Wussow

Jill Wussow

, 31, is a seasonal field biologist, nature photographer and nomad. She has worked with several federally endangered bird species (including the Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo and Piping Plover), sea turtles, and bats all over the United States. She is rarely in one place for more than a few months at a time and her whereabouts are often confusing. Field work has given her great opportunity to travel often and meshes with her passion for wildlife and nature photography perfectly. Through her photography, Jill hopes to convey her love and respect of the natural world.

Jill Wussow

Jill Wussow

Jill Wussow is a seasonal field biologist, nature photographer and nomad. She has worked with several federally endangered bird species (including the Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo and Piping Plover), sea turtles, and bats all over the United States. She is rarely in one place for more than a few months at a time and her whereabouts are often confusing. Field work has given her great opportunity to travel often and meshes with her passion for wildlife and nature photography perfectly. Through her photography, Jill hopes to convey her love and respect of the natural world.

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