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Just a meandering soul sharing my backyard. Visit my Flickr page too! www.flickr.com/photos/meanderingwa/

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Every Journey Has a First Step

I have not always been a Nature Nut. It came upon me slowly. I was working in a small business that did not have a lounge or break room. During my lunch hour I found myself driving to a nearby state park and walking its loop trail. This little park had some nice educational signs and I found myself starting to notice the world around me.

It was not a new appreciation. I had always noticed the world around me, but like many people life sort of overtook me and I got lost along the way. I never really "got into" nature, the way you can.

While rambling on the little park trails I noticed two little birds squabbling. They hopped about with great puffed up importance. Each one had a tiny tuft of red feathers on the top of their heads. I had never seen the like. Returning to work I mentioned them to a co-worker.

"Ruby-crowned Kinglet" she said.

I was greatly interested.

"I am a birder." She shared this matter of fact confession with me.

She encouraged me to get started by simply getting a field guide some binoculars and by joining the local Audubon Chapter and going on field trips.

I was hooked. In no time I was gathering books and gaining knowledge of birds. This led to a need to know trees and plants and of course along the way you see bugs and "stuff" all of which need some understanding or at least an appreciation. I have done my share of chasing and listing, but for the most part, now I simply look and enjoy. I do without the competitive edge that can overtake some nature watchers.

Along the way I have met geology nuts, dragonfly chasers, butterfly photographers and blowfly experts. I have counted birds in every season, monitored nest boxes, collected nests for parasite studies, gave lectures, led field trips, written natural history articles, volunteered and rambled.

I have recently rediscovered the joy of these activities and having picked up a camera, love to share what I am seeing with others. This led me here.

If you have stumbled into my world I hope you will join me in exploring what is on the trail ahead. I ramble slowly and take time to appreciate the little wonders.

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