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Yvonne Pesquera

The first thing I have to tell you is that a bright green frog swam up to me. And with just his eyes peeking out of the water showing the top of his glistening head, he gave me the stare-down. I kept talking to it: ‘Wait, wait, wait.’ I fumbled with my camera in my excitement and missed the shot. Gah! He dove under the water lickety-split.

Experience makes us wiser. And this Saturday at the Río, I avoided the developed area and went for the more primitive Day Use spot. No one was there. No one came up and stood in front of my view. Sheesh, that lady is a nutjob. 

The winds were low so the bugs were bad. Once I doused myself in bug spray, I was pretty much unmolested. The rafters were super-friendly; each boat wanted to talk. I was game and made the same requisite small chat with each passing craft: “How’s the water?!”

In addition to reading the library book I just scored eight months after putting my name on the list, I was avidly birding. There was a western tanager with three whistles followed by three chats. The bird was fascinating to watch through my binoculars.

I told a passing rafter: “I’m birding.” And he nodded understanding the seriousness. I died laughing inside. I used to be this hard-core chick climbing a mountain every weekend. Now my extreme sport is birding. 

I just love sitting by the Río and reading. It’s an activity that has come slowly to me in stages over the past seven years. There’s been no one to show me the ropes at the Río; I’ve had to go on my own, explore, observe. There was one whole year I even gave up going to the Río because of you-know-who. But this year is different. With all his work and our different rhythms, there’s little chance of running into him there. 

I read, drank my water, watched a bird through my binoculars, soaked in the sun and listened to the hydrotherapy of the rushing tide. 

Just for today, a little sandy beachfront of the Río Grande was mine.