Date: 8/24/19 2:51 am
From: <lfkramer...>
Subject: [MASSBIRD] Thanks, Ida.

From Barry Burden:

Those of us who have been in the birding community for some time have our own “Ida story.” Here’s mine.
A few years back (2014?), a Barnacle Goose showed up in a semi-frozen farm field in Mendon, MA. For a couple of days it seemed that everyone showed up for a look. Leslie Kramer and I made the journey out and saw the bird. We were heading back to the car when we noticed Ida pulling up in her car, getting out and heading our way. By now, the path down to the back fence by the barn was treacherous at best. With all the foot traffic and the snow on the ground, it was icy, pot-holed, and uneven. For those not burdened with compromised mobility, it was not easily traversed. I quickly headed back to Ida to help her negotiate this path and was met with a snappy, “Don’t need your help. Just show me the bird.” Like a good soldier I did what I was told, and watched as she marched down the gauntlet, cane in hand, and made it to the fence. She breathed a sigh of relief and pride, and proceeded to tell everyone there of her past encounters with this elusive bird. She then turned, looked at me, and said, “Thank you for offering me your help, but I can make it by myself.” Back she went, inch by inch, till she made it to her car, and off she went to see another bird.
As I struggle with my own battle with cancer and chronic pain, I can’t help but think back on this day. Ida’s sheer grit, stubbornness, determination, and never-quit attitude was a lesson for us all. Sometimes you just have to look at a seemingly difficult objective and just take it on head first, just do it and not make a big deal out of it. As I thought about writing this tonight, one of Ida’s favorite birds showed up at the window and whinnied just once. Nothing like Screech Owl and a distant train whistle to set a mood. Thanks, Ida. You were one of a kind and will be missed. Good night.

Barry Burden
Medford, MA

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