By Sunshine Jowell
There’s this old photo I sometimes see pop up on Facebook of my parents on the beach in Southern California. I’ll see one of my relatives post it on their anniversary or one of their birthdays, with a reminder of their constant love and devotion to each other. The picture was taken by one of my sisters. It’s a bit blurry, because she was far away while they were walking together near the water’s edge. A few seagulls dot the landscape as you see my mom lean heavily on my dad’s arm while she stumbles along the sand with a cane in her other hand. Her wheelchair had been left with my sister because she wanted to feel the sea on her toes.
My mom was always very adamant about doing everything. And she very much wanted to do most things herself, but of course she never passed up the opportunity to hold my dad’s hand.
When you live with a disability, or care for someone with special needs, it suddenly becomes clear how parts of our world can be difficult to navigate. But it can also be clear that there are so many things we all need to enjoy, and we should be adamant about doing them.
The thing I always loved most about birding was that I felt anyone could do it. I didn’t need to be tall, or run fast. My poor eyesight wasn’t even something that kept me from finding and identifying the birds—I’ve learned more about them from their calls and behaviors than what I can find in a scope. On my very first bird event, I was delighted to see grandparents with their grandkids, enjoying the field and finding all the different ways to enjoy nature and being together outside.
Birding is an activity that is what you make of it. At Red Rock Audubon Society, our events are intended as Birding For All. When you sign up, please know that these birding adventures will always be inclusive, open, and engaging. Birding For All events are designed for anyone who wants to learn about birds in their own way—and everyone is welcome!
Please watch our Calendar page for new events, and feel free to reach out for specific questions/concerns.
Photos provided by Trish Wooddy