She wrote poems that express some of that despair, poems that are included in the book. She also maintained her law practice, often times communicating with clients while out on the road to find birds. It was costly, she says, and traveling the continent for year took a financial toll, one it took her and her husband a few years to pay off.
When she comes to Mankato this week, attendees will hear of her big year adventures. She’ll also show slides and, she said, do her best to get people excited to learn more about birds.
“I’ve done bird talks for years and I love doing it,” she said. “I like to get people enthusiastic.”
Although, it’d be hard to match Barber’s enthusiasm.
A few years ago, when she was living in Texas, she got a call from a fellow birding friend. The friend wanted to know if she’d heard about or ever seen alanaia, a rare Mexican bird. Why? Because they’d been spotted near South Padre Island.
“It’s just kind of a drab thing, very dull looking,” she said.
Without a second thought, she and her husband got into the car and began a 10-hour drive to the place where the bird was supposedly seen.
“We slept in the car, some vacant lot on South Padre Island,” Barber said. “When the sun rose, our friends showed up and we all got out. In the dusky gloom, we finally saw it flitting around in the brush.”
Then it was gone.
And yes, Barber said, it was worth the drive.
If You Go What A presentation by birder Lynn Barber, author of the book, "Extreme Birder: One Woman's Big Year." When 6 p.m. Wednesday Where Bethel Baptist Church, 1250 Balcerzak Drive, Mankato Cost $5