Haunting echoes of Canada geese

Like clockwork every fall, Canada geese and Bert and Janie Gildart wing their way south to milder climes.

DSC_0079 Bert Gildart- A Movable Feast

The significance  of this event is conveyed in Bert’s article, “A Movable Feast,” Airstream Life, Winter 2016, page 44:

High overhead, a flock of Canada geese were winging their way south through the chill night air. Wave after wave passed above us, honking among themselves. As we watched, they vanished much too soon, leaving only faint, haunting echoes.

To some, the sound of the geese is synonymous with the changing of the seasons. To me, hearing them on the eve of the equinox was an omen that fall throughout the Northwest would be a season of splendor, unveiling many wonders as it had done so many times before while I made my autumn journey south following the sun, the birds, the peak transformation of fall foliage, and the pageantry of wildlife preparing for winter.”

This season, unexpected surgeries have delayed Bert and Janie’s trip south, as detailed in Bert’s blog post last week, “Open those Stored Boxes. They Could Surprise!

Former back-country ranger in Glacier National Park, writer/outdoor photographer/Airstreamer Bert Gildart has been providing spectacular photos and enriching stories for Airstream Life ever since it’s first issue, Summer 2004.

DSC_0027 Bert Gildart focuses Nikon

Snowbirds, Bert and Janie, have often spent winter months in Borrego Springs with friends while hiking and photographing interesting sites such as the Sculptures of Ricardo Breceda, Galleta Meadows, Borrego Springs, as documented in Bert’s post, “Year of the Dragon” and my post, “In pursuit of dragons and pearls.

DSC_0081 Bert & Janie, Larry holding pearl

For the past 6 years, we have preferred the quieter Agua Caliente County Park 45 minutes south of Borrego Springs, where we have enjoyed Bert and Janie’s visits while spending time hiking and feasting!

DSC_0092 Bert & Janie gaze at sheep

Bert points to bighorn sheep on nearby ridge (note the size of his telephoto lens)!

DSC_0078 Bert focussing on bighorn sheep

His happiness is contagious!

DSC_0079 Bert's happy to see bighorn sheep

And he knows how to light up a scene… and brighten our spirits.

DSC_0125 Bert's lighting technique

See his photos of the above scenes in his post, “Surviving In a Land Where Everything Either Sticks, Stings, or Bites.”  Bert’s got it down to a science and it comes out as iconic art, as mentioned in “Bert Gildart’s art.”

DSC_0044 Bert Gildart at work & play

It is cold and snowy in Montana where Bert is convalescing while his spirit of adventure continues as he discovers historic treasures left in boxes for him by his parents 15 years ago, such as a newspaper clipping from the famous Honolulu-Star Bulletin‘s Extra Edition December 7, 1941.* On the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Star-Bulletin published its most famous extra edition, as Editor Riley Allen and staff scrambled to print the first paper in the world with news of the assault. Extras were being sold on the street within three hours (Wikipedia).  This clipping is a haunting echo from the past for both of us because both my dad and Bert’s dad were in the Army there at the same time. (My dad Joe stands on left next to his buddy Wes.)

My Dad, JWD, Pearl Harbor Survivor

We wish you a speedy recovery, Bert, and look forward to your and Janie’s return to Borrego Springs!

To Be By Your Side*      Old Black Crow (Tony Feathers)*      Here’s to the crazy ones (Think Different)*

*This is a link to a YouTube video.


  1. says

    Bill, this is one of the nicest write-ups I’ve ever gotten and Janie and I want you both to know how much we’ve appreciated your support and friendship over the years. What’s more your blog brings back wonderful memories of great hikes and the photo set ups we’ve used to document those adventures. We’re hoping spring will allow more shared outings!

  2. says

    What a great tribute to our mutual friends Bert & Janie! I couldn’t have put it better myself.

    Bert Gildart holds a certain distinction in the fact that he’s the only author to have been published in every issue of Airstream Life, but I think the greater distinction is the Bert & Janie’s choice of a life well-spent exploring the world.

    As I tell people often, Bert is the kind of guy I want to be when I grow up!

    And here’s a tip (you read it here first): look for a co-authored travel book by Bert and me, hopefully coming out late in 2017 or early 2018.