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DVOC Main Page > Our Members > Jewel Rufe

Jewel Rufe (see also Hart Rufe)

Life Member

A newspaper advertisement in 1979 for an ornithological class with field trips, taught by Dr. Dan Klem at Muhlenberg College, my alma mater, inspired me to move beyond my backyard feeders and casual interest in birds, to a more intense involvement. I was hooked, and joined week long workshops at Hawk Mountain, frequent spring and fall weekends in Cape May, and an Audubon camp in Maine conducted by Steve Kress. Locally, I became a fan of Fred Mears at Peace Valley Nature Center and was soon a regular on their walks. In the 1980’s I joined Bucks County Audubon and started going on their field trips, eventually including their long trips to places like Colorado, Arizona, California, Florida, Attu, and mainland Alaska. After joining DVOC (when women were finally admitted) I also traveled with Bill and Naomi Murphy and learned much from them.

Since 1990 most of my birding has been with my husband, Hart, as we have done more birding together, rather than with large groups. But we still have taken trips with small groups to places like Texas, Ecuador, and Costa Rica, and a Bering Sea cruise, mostly with the Academy under the leadership of Bob Ridgely and Sally Conyne.

After my retirement (from 28 years of teaching math to 7th graders) in 1998, and Hart’s retirement in early 1999, we have spent our winters in Florida where I have come to enjoy warm winter birding as opposed to those exhilarating but brutal sub-zero birding trips to coastal New England. And winter pelagic trips - Ugh! More than enough time spent at the rail already!

And now, I still enjoy DVOC, although the hour and a half trip to meetings seems to get longer all the time; and the Bucks County Birders group reminds me of the early days of Bucks County Audubon. We’ve joined the St. Lucie County Audubon Society in Florida, where many of the birders are novices, but their enthusiasm is contagious and we love to see their excitement over the discovery of new birds. Our long term dream is still a good long birding and wine tasting trip to Australia/New Zealand. Maybe some day?