A Seabird in the Desert

Jackie is a pretty serious birdwatcher. It's a rare trip that she takes without first checking out the local birding sites and packing a birdbook and binoculars. So when she had to attend a conference in Tuscon, she made sure to pack her birding gear because there are lots of diverse winged critters in the area.

But there was one that she wasn't aware of - Mike Keers' Puffin.

Those of you who have been around for a while remember that Mike and I were the cohorts in crime who got this groundswell of Columbia mania going; Mike published C-Nuz and I built the Columbia Yacht Owners Association website.

Mike and his wife Sherylin live in the desert outside of Sierra Vista, AZ, about an hour's drive southeast of Tuscon. When Jackie suggested that I join her in Tucson for a long weekend I jumped at the chance.

I won't bore you with the whole travel story, but I thought you would like to see a few pictures.

  The ViewSomewhere in this valley is Mike and Sherylin's "ranch", the No Sense Atoll.
  The Guest HouseJackie poses before the trailer in that backyard that is the guest house for visitors.
  The Mike and Puffin chickDuring one winter when it was too cold to work on the big boat, Mike built this model of the Puffin.
  The PerpetratorsMike and I pose in front of the Mother Puffin.

You can keep up to date on Mike's progress with puffin at his Puffin website.

Jackie and I left the Keers Ranch and Boatyard and visited the artist colony of Bisbee and Tombstone - including Boot Hill - an unabashed tourist trap.

In case you are wondering, Jackie and I also saw a lot of interesting feathered birds.

Eric White, Spring 2003.

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