My mother, who now resides in a care facility, turned 96 years old today. I owe a good deal of my appreciation for wildflowers and birds to her. When I was growing up she would always express such joy with the first flowers of spring, and the return of the nesting swallows. In later years she enjoyed many hikes up Iron Mountain in the Oregon Cascades and made up her own alphabetical list of wildflowers. She took great pride in making an annual trek to the summit even into her eighties. She made a winter home for herself near the Salton Sea in Southern California, where Jeanette and I visited annually and shared in a growing interest in birds. Her awareness and communication have been taken from us by the ravages of dementia. I’ve cried way over 96 tears today, Mom.