Tuesday, June 4, 2013

"Life List"

As I plan my own little adventure later this month (here are 10 clues to figure out where I am going), I am awestruck with a book that I just finished about Phoebe Snetsinger. The book is “Life List” by Olivia Gentile, and I highly recommend it. It is a fascinating and well-written read about an truly amazing, if obsessed, woman.

Who was Phoebe Snetsinger? Well, only the first person known to have seen 8,000 of the world’s bird species. In fact, she ended up seeing something like 8,700 different species. And this was after first getting interested in birds at age 33 when she was shown a Blackburnian warbler by a friend. Along the way, she traveled all over the world, trekked to the most remote and difficult places one can imagine, saw incredible things and thousands of beautiful birds, endured inconceivable hardships, and experienced a few truly horrific things. She also lived for something like 18 years after being told that she would be dead in less than a year from melanoma, and she virtually walked away from her marriage. For most years after her diagnosis, she ended up traveling to see birds five to seven months of each year.

If you have any interest in birds and the natural world, and in the human spirit, I’d encourage you to read this excellent book.

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