Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Visit to Indigo Hills

Julie, Bill and Chet Baker, three fifths of the tribe.
In honor of last year's and this year's keynote speakers for the Lek Treks & More Lesser Prairie- Chicken Festival, I saved this post for just the right moment (hopefully this is it)!  About four weeks ago, well easier put, during "spring break" I made my way to the east coast for a little visit with family.  Particularly pertinent to current topics on this blog I made my way to Indigo Hills, Ohio as well! Indigo Hill isn't exactly a town, more the name of a beautiful house atop a ridge-line in south-eastern Ohio. It also happens to be the home of Bill Thompson III and Julie Zickefoose.

Indigo Hills!
The former is the editor of Birdwatcher's Digest ; the latter, a widely known artist and writer, both well known for being drenched with talent for which it would take too long to describe here. You'll just have to trust me and visit their websites, links provided, see for yourself!

After having missed my exit for the the dynamic duos house, and after a long evening of restless sleep in my car in West Virginia, I finally arrived to a smiling and supportive Julie. Whom, like every good mother ran a hot bath and told me to go chill and to rest my score muscles.  I obliged, with bubbles I might add, and found myself sitting, rested, and ready for some conversation a little later in Julie's kitchen. Perhaps one of the kindest shows of hospitality I have seen through my years traveling here and there! Conversations ran from birds to music, life and then back again. This was pretty much the case for the entire visit.

So for two days and nights I spent the evening in the glow of both Bill and Julie, and their two wonderful kids I might add.  There was talk of a particular new bird guide that didn't thrill me too much, that might make a nice little post for later. Discussions between Bill and I about the life birds we are planning to get him while he is in Oklahoma. Things like how much time do we have to pretty much cover as much of western Oklahoma as possible? Which, let me tell is gonna make for one hell of good time!  Will we be visiting Meers for a famous burger, etc, etc.. Music was of course, mentioned previously, also on topic.  Both Bill and Julie are wonderful songwriters and musicians, something of which I try to live a bit myself, so the instruments were opened up and the three crazy birds took to singing! Reluctantly, only because I'm shy about it, I have added one of two basement recordings (okay so it's been added as a widget on the top left of this web page, song title "When You Gonna Let Me In"), the other to be shared for another post that's coming soon.

Bill giving me a lesson, on my guitar!

So generally, I'm here telling you that when you don't show up to the Lek Treks & More Lesser Prairie-Chicken Festival you're missing a sure fire good time and it's your own fault!  Not only that but you're gonna miss Bill Thompson III's keynote address at the banquet Saturday (April 16) evening in Woodward, OK.  I'm sure just like his wife, who we were honored to have last year as the keynote speaker, Bill's address will provide plenty to think about, chuckle at and generally enjoy. This ain't no three day tour though, you get to hear him for one night only! Understanding what kind of schedule this guy keeps I can say with some confidence,  it will be a little while before he graces Oklahoma again!

So what about the birds? Well, I mostly got treated to the smorgasbord that the Indigo Hills feeders provided.  Everything from Eastern Bluebirds to Red-bellied Woodpeckers and even a Fox Sparrow which I hadn't seen in a while.  The entire visit it was either raining, snowing or looking like it was going to in the near future, so we stayed indoors most of the time.  Of course I did get my year's first American Woodcock.  I only needed to step out on their back deck and give a quick listen. So for now that's it, I'm still in the trenches up in prairie-chicken land, "Afield in Oklahoma" or Ohio, whichever fits at the moment.


TR Ryan said...


Eric Beck said...

Okay Tim! You know I'm stuck in 2010 you better let me know what that means!