Bucket List

I was recently challenged to come up with some “bucket list” items related to wildlife and outdoor Arizona.

I love the term “bucket list.” It’s so much faster and less morbid than asking someone, “What would you like to see, do, experience or accomplish before you die?”

The items on this particular list must relate to wildlife and take place in Arizona. It can be useful to have constraints such as these when coming up with a bucket list. When all the world is in play, choosing a handful of specific items is much tougher. Would I choose spring in Paris over spring in Seville? Who could decide? Faced with unlimited and equally attractive options, I often succumb to decision-making paralysis. Having sideboards focuses my mind.

As I brainstormed items related to wildlife and occurring in Arizona, I called on memories from the past 10 years.

  • Listening to an enormous flock of sandhill cranes murmur and chatter unseen in the last shadows of night at Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area.
  • Thrilling to the sight of a soaring California condor as I endured the last, long hour of a hike out of the Grand Canyon.
  • Freezing in my tracks at the sound of a bugling elk, somewhere off in the distant forest.
  • Startling a pronghorn, which took off at a sprint faster even than the pounding of my heart.
  • Watching a swarm of hummingbirds in brief, fierce aerial battles around a line of feeders.
  • Walking through the woods in southern Arizona, hoping to show my dad an elegant trogon, and having an actual trogon fly right past us and perch on a branch 10 yards away.

By definition, these memorable events can’t be on my bucket list because I’ve already experienced them, but I can confidently recommend them to anyone else, including readers of Arizona Wildlife Views magazine.

What should be on my list? What have I yet to experience? I’m still mulling that over. What about you? What wildlife-related items (in Arizona or not) are on your bucket list?

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