Today is my daughter Bethany's birthday. She's a very young how ever old she is. After all, she can't be very old since I'm so young. Joyce and I drove down to Raleigh to spend the middle of the day with her and her family (shown in the photo at a friend's wedding last fall). Last night they had held their highly successful backyard oyster roast so there was a little cleaning up still going on when we arrived. We packed everyone up in their van and went to the restaurant of her choice where we all enjoyed the food and conversation. When we got back to their house, she packed up a care package of some locally grown vegetables for us to take home. We had brought a batch of chocolate-chip cookies. I'll let you decide who won on that exchange. On the drive home we ran into several horrendous thunder storms. Along the way several cars had skidded off the road or had hydroplaned since there was a large amount of water on the highway. We did make it home safely. I found out from the rare bird website that a Yellow-Green Vireo had been seen today in San Diego. I made a quick check of the airline schedules and saw that it would be possible for me to rearrange my Arizona, California trip to start in California. But I'll wait until tomorrow and check with my contacts to see what the status is then before making any changes. And from another part of the country comes a report of a La Sagra's Flycatcher in Florida. Such are the ups and downs and tugs and pulls of a Big Year.