Date: 11/20/19 4:31 am
From: B B <birder4184...>
Subject: [Tweeters] Arkansas Blog Post - the Last of the 50 States
Many of you know that I have been engaged in a special project/adventure taking me to each of the 50 state in the U.S. trying to see 50 species on single days in each of them.  I recently returned from a wonderful trip to Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas where I was able to see 50 species in each and complete the quest in the company of some extraordinary people and birders.  I have recounted each of my visits in blog posts with details, reflections, stories and photos.  Last night I posted about the final trip - my visit to Arkansas joined by Vivek Govind Kumar, another of my fortunate and amazing contacts.  Hopefully not overstepping the bounds of TWEETERS, I have included the two introductory paragraphs of that post as they capture much of the underlying purpose and meaning from my avian journey - a journey that changed me and brought me great joy.
The blog is open to all and anyone interested can read more about this trip and others at blairbirding.com with Arkansas being found specifically at https://wordpress.com/post/blairbirding.com/23074
"In any relationship there is an evolution as we are informed by experiences gathered, lessons learned and perspectives gained.  When I began this 50 state birding adventure, I saw it as a framework for an activity that would take me on paths familiar and not, but always following my passion for birds and the birders that observe them.  There was no certainty that the objective of finding 50 species on single days in each of the 50 states would be met but I was certain that the rewards from the effort would be great and more than justify the cost in time, effort and expense that would be involved.  I knew there would be many interesting experiences and many interesting people along the way.  I knew there would be many wonderful birds.  What I did not know was the depth of the feelings that would grow within me as I traveled around the country and intersected with so many incredible people who make up a very special community.  These intersections have brought me much happiness and have taught me much about the generosity of others and about my own being.  My last stop was in Arkansas and again I was rewarded far beyond expectation.

The most important part of my 50/50/50 undertaking has been the requirement not just to see 50 species in a day but to do so while connecting with members of the birding communities in each locale.  And that, too, evolved as I continued my adventure and experienced and appreciated the diversity of the people who make up the world of birders.  It was always important to me that in visiting different areas I would explore and hopefully gain understanding of other viewpoints, perspectives, backgrounds and cultures something particularly meaningful in this time of polarization and tribalism in our country.  Noting and appreciating differences while sharing and appreciating commonalities has been a recurring theme and a recurring benefit.  Nowhere was this more true than in Arkansas - a very fitting close to my travels."

Blair Bernson
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