Four months! Yep, four months since my last post and my thoughts are, “Oh my!” So what’s been going on? Well, a whole of birding, reading, yard work, and laziness. And while I’ve been slacking on blogging, I’ve kept some reminders in my inbox from online friends (thanks Shannon) as motivation to get back at it. So with temps in the mid-80s, it seems like an ideal day to sit out back with a fan keeping me relatively cool and the Dave Douglas Quartet providing some audio bliss as I try and catch you up. And while I work to catch you up, I’ll be peppering this post with photos taken during my absence.
Birding – yes, I’ve been birding pretty intensely the past few months; just haven’t been blogging or editing photos. Once May arrived, all non-essential activities (i.e. cleaning, doing laundry, weeding the garden, grocery shopping, etc…) ceased completely. I was out birding 12 of the first 14 days of the month (and 22 of the 31 overall days) as migration kicked into full gear and most of these excursions were 4-6 hours in length. May was one of the major reasons I decided to move to second shift and it has paid dividends! During the week I was typically out the door by 6am, in the field by 6:15am and then birding until noon or 1pm before heading home to start work. Ahhh yes, it was wonderful to be birding in the parks without the “expendables” – those non-birders whose actions and activities are antithetical to birding (high school kids running around yelling, joggers, little kids, etc…). And yes, I understand how selfish that is, but honestly, I don’t care. I’d be perfectly content to never hear another walker/student/child in a park complaining over a cell phone about some trivilality while missing the natural beauty all around them. See, they frustrate me even when writing about them – it’s one of the reasons I said if I ever win the lottery I’m buying a huge parcel of excellent birding land and opening it to birders only; joggers, walkers, and kids under 16 need not apply (with the exception of Michael and anyone he vouches for of course).
And I recently completed one of my goals for the year as I spent the end of May and beginning of June in the Dakotas birding. Since returning I’ve been limiting my time on the computer; hence I haven’t even edited a single photo from the trip…..yet. I do plan on at least one, and possibly two, posts covering the trip. Oh, and for those of you wondering, the answer is Yes – I do plan on completing my Costa Rica trip reports.
So you know I’ve been birding, but what’s truly been holding me up from blogging? Well, that would be reading. I’ve been in the grips of an insatiable reading marathon for the past 4 months and there is no end in sight. For those avid readers out there, my marathons normally take on a different flavor from most. Without a wife or kids, I can dedicate a number of hours daily to reading because really, if I don’t feel like cleaning there is no one there to complain (thankfully I can’t understand my cats crying so who knows if she’s complaining about living in squalor). So when I haven’t been birding, it’s not unusual for me to spend 4-8 hours a day reading. Yes, an average day is probably in the 4 hour vicinity and on “ideal” days I can easily spend 8 hours engrossed in a book. And for those of you who have been birding with me during this period, thanks for putting up with my repeated diatribes against the government and the 1%.
One final note before I sign off, I mentioned above that I’ve been spending less time on the computer, but I’ve also been focusing on spending less time online. Since returning from the Dakotas, I’ve been limiting myself to one day per week on Facebook, and on that day I’ve been trying to keep to under 10 minutes. I basically have been logging on, checking for messages, looking at the Northeast Wisconsin Birding page to see what my local birding friends have been up to, and that’s about it. I was an opponent of Facebook for a long time, but joined in order to keep up with bird sightings and birding friends. Over the past few years I’ve slowely slid into being on it way more than I care to admit. So I’m remedying the situation now and I can honestly say it’s very liberating! Instead of scrolling through my news feed multiple times a day, I’m burning through pages in a book.
That’s it for now – my plan is to post a photo gallery post next week which will be heavy on photos and light on text and then start to work on a recap of my trip to the Dakotas and get back to the Costa Rica reports. That being said, I plan a lot, but don’t always follow the plan. Until next time, Bird It Up!