In the last three days, i was filled with worry. Hurricane Irma bearing down on St. Martin, an island I own not just one house but two, with a closing of selling one house set for next week. So instead of watching the Weather Channel my wife drove me to the airport to go bird. I would be better off without internet. So away I went.
I saw two lifer birds in what could be assuming the ABA adds what I have in the bank to the checklist, my 800th bird. But..it wasn't so grand a feeling.
Swallow-tailed gull, Seattle Washington, a great code 5 bird from the Galapagos Islands, which I saw a lot of birders I knew, everyone who was anyone was there on Monday. Some of the people I thought I was friends with gave me the cold shoulder. I didn't care. It was at a nude beach BUT this bird is not on my nude life list...honestly, I didn't think about it, I was distracted by Irma.
I flew immediately to Salt Lake and rented a car to drive to Idaho, on Tuesday Morning, I got another lifer, the new Cassia Crossbill, a bird split off from the red crossbill which lives in the Sawtooth National Forest. I shall be honest, I can add this lifer bird to my sans clothing list btw, as I thought about it, and the forest was pretty sparse of others.
But it still left me hollow. I went to Shoshone Falls to get a hotdog but they had turned the water off, I can watch water flow for hours...Not today but they did have food though at the park near Twin Falls Idaho. Tired and worried as the NOAA forecast moved the hurricane turn westward, I drove in a funk back to Salt Lake. It was a sleepless night at the hotel.
At 0530 I boarded the plane local time, Irma, a hurricane name meaning immense or universal, a really odd woman's name, and one also a derivation of a goddess of war and destruction came ashore on Orient Beach St Martin. We all drank Scotch in first class as it was a wake for the island. The earliest I've ever drank hard liquor.
Since then, I watched video of seven story buildings collapse, and many many pictures of the devastation. Here is a photo from Anse Marcel, one bay north of Orient.
I don't know what to do, I sit here in shock, alcohol numbs but it doesn't sooth the pain, I've seen one photo from the Dutch military copter flying over the Orient Beach Village, it looks as bad as the above photo. many dead, maybe people I know. It is bad...really bad.
Here is a comment from the Manager at Club Orient, a place on Orient Beach on the French side.