Nico in an unusually pensive mood

2016 Annual Report: Jim and Linda

Jim and Linda by Yet Another Big Tree [YABT]

Many Milestones

Birding Milestones

This year we had another special birthday between twin primes. So, without calculating how many years we had left, we continued our search for interesting wildlife left in the world.

Purple Throated Carib
We began with a marathon sweep through the Caribbean beginning with a week on the incomparable Sea Cloud, followed by Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Jamaica. A report on the trip (PDF) is the web site, with pictures and anecdotes. This photo, which Linda took, is probably the best photo of the trip.

Hairy Green Caterpillar
May found us teamed up with the Cloudmans again for another birding-cum-photography trip. We visited Japan with Mark Brazil and his wife, Mayumi. Mark was our guide in 2011 in India, where we saw our 4000th species of bird in the world. On this trip, we were close to our 5000th species, after tallying a nice load of endemics in the Caribbean. A report (PDF) on the Japan trip is also available on the web site. This Spectacular caterpillar was on the road during a night drive on Okinawa. It makes a nice wallpaper photo.

As there are slightly more than 10,000 species of birds in the world according to the experts, we have a goal of seeing half of them. Maybe in 2017 we will realize that. In case you are wondering, we did each see our milestone bird. After we returned, I found out that the latest update to the taxonomy meant that we had also seen 5000 species together, a more interesting accomplishment.

Blakiston's Fish Owl
Siberian Rubythroat
The Blakiston's Fish Owl was actually my 5001th species, but I wasn't able to photograph the actual milestone bird. You'll have to read the report for the details. Linda, as usual, had a nice colorful, and cooperative, bird for her milestone.

Fifty Years!

Yes, it has been fifty years since we graduated from Rice as a married couple. Linda wrote a toast for our anniversary celebration:

Toast to Jim on Our 50th Anniversary, April 9, 2016

My love, just a moment ago I thought about you and my heart was filled with love and gratitude. So before another moment goes by I want to thank you for a wonderful 50 years together, MOTT[1].

Thank you

To old memories and ones yet to make
To love a person means to agree to grow old with him
[Raises glass and sips]

Now, one more thing, we plan to go to Japan soon. While reading, this quote caught my eye: “The Japanese have a word for it. It’s Judo: the art of conquering by yielding”. The Western equivalent of Judo is “Yes, Dear.”

Jim's Comments at Rice Reunion

I saw Linda across a crowded room during Freshman Week. (My mother claimed that she pointed Linda out to me and suggested I go talk to her. This is slightly exaggerated.) If it wasn't love at first sight, it was a good first approximation. Of course, Rice at the time had four males for every female, so it took me several years to convince her that she wasn't going to make a better deal. (She doesn't like that line.) Fortunately, I was ultimately successful: we married on Good Friday in 1966.It has been a wonderful 50 years that has seen us visiting 59 countries, on every continent, and seeing an amazing collection of this planet's natural beauty.

Claire's Observation

Claire — who certainly has skin in the game — commented, “It's lucky you two found each other. No one else would put up with either one of you.”

Other Travels

We traveled to Laconner, WA, near Seattle, to celebrate Jack Findlay's 90th birthday. Jack is Linda's last surviving uncle. We had a chance to meet lots of cousins of the non-Hargrove variety that we see only occasionally. Great fun and good eats.

We celebrated Jim's 72nd birthday at Taninah, a nice resort near Playa del Carmen in Quintana Roo, Mexico. There was something for everyone there: some birding on the property, many places to visit in the area for those so inclined, and a marvelous cenote, a subterranean pool with a slide for entry.

Trip Photos

I have switched to using Google photos albums instead of doing my own. The links below open on the Google site.

On to 2017

Best wishes for 2017.

Visitors are welcome Chez Hargrove.

Stay in touch. You can always reach us using the contact form on this website. You can also find Jim, and now Linda, on Facebook. Jim is on Twitter also, as @Neoscona.

[1]MOTT = "Most Of The Time," cf. SOTT