Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day 2012

I started birding because of my crazy Zoology teacher.  It was in 10th grade that I made the fateful decision to take this course, a sort of next step to my Biology class I'd taken the year before.  I wanted to be a Vet and the more science I took the better.  In Biology, we'd had a lot of fun dissecting things, goofing off with the animals kept in the lab (reptiles) and scaring people with these same know fun stuff.  I expected more of the same in Zoology.
I ended up with the less stuffy teacher.  He was a lot of fun, a little crazy, there wasn't much structure in the class except somehow during all the dissecting we learned things like phylum and species and how to put paper hats on Ascaris worms and diaper ,cats.  Science was fun because our teacher, despite his best efforts to make it boring, couldn't.  He loved it too and allowed us to explore, ask questions, discover.  The other class was much more structured and was taught by a very strict guy. Not that they didn't learn but we got the impression that there was no high jinx or cat diapering going on in his class.
In the spring, we all looked forward to two very special field trips, both were supposed to expose us to the scientific observation of the avian species. Extra credit points were up for grabs aside from the very real opportunity to get credit for playing outside for 2 Saturdays. That was what I expected...instead I found it exciting when I found a Scarlet Tanager in a tree down by Sugar Creek singing in a tree.  It was like a giant scavenger hunt with the one finding the most birds the winner. Most people just walked the trails, some guys took risks and ended up sliding down muddy cliffs and are 40 years later still be ribbed about it, others were stuck with the serious teacher and had to look for birds all day.  My group found ourselves doing a little of wandering and exploring and looking for birds.  That was the foundation which my love for birding was built upon. Wandering around, observing, exploring nature in its glory.

So, today, I have a life list which I relish adding to. I lust for high powered, expensive binoculars and have my eye on the new Crosley birding book and a book on feathers.  I keep my naturalist's bag ready in my car at all times loaded with my Sibley's guide, wildflower book and bug jars.  In fact, I think this class actually was the beginning of my life as an official nature watcher. I had always been curious but never knew that I could actually write, observe and keep track of what I saw and that this lifelong obsession would then lead to deep knowledge and understanding about how life itself works.  So, on this Earth Day 2012...get out, ask questions and have fun!  Nature is addicting. lets love it and do what needs to be done to save it!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


My world, like yours most probably, is run by technology and the items of equipment thereby related.  Laptop computers, digital cameras, IPods, IPads, TV's, DVD/BluRay players, I & Android phones, microwave ovens and other such high tech electronic gadgets pretty much run our world and our lives.  Last week proved to be challenging because my laptop which is my lifeline decided it had had enough.  Suddenly, I was getting error messages saying that it had no more room for my stuff in it, refused to hold my precious photos or to even work at all...which meant that it took HOURS to convince it to open up a web page!  Gad, it was very frustrating.

My computer told me to get rid of some of the junk in its memory.  Evidently, at 7 years of age it cannot remember things anymore. And you expect ME to remember how to add. So, I deleted a few meaningless programs I'd collected...after all that was what it told me to do.  Then it yelled at me some more..."NOO, I am STILL overloaded with stuff..please remove these programs!", it said to me.  So, I did...ok I don't really need to be hoarding all of them anyway.  I swear it told me to delete my printer driver. Gack.

So, when the computer expert finally looked at it, he said to me with a small, rueful smile..."Ahhh, do you think 10 million kilobytes of photos are enough?!"  (small exaggeration). I said, "Of course, not!" 

I was forced to remove alllll my photos to a giant, external drive that holds my PRECIOUS...hence the reason why this blog has no photos. I have yet to reroute them to Picassa because I am sure it will take days to load the 10 million kilobytes of photos back into it.  Funny, I didn't realize that Picassa used my files on the C drive, I thought they were safe out there floating in the cloud o' electrons. 

Its really hard pretending I'm not an old fart and I wish the world would stop for a minute and let me catch up with all this technology stuff. But I'm NOT giving up!  I refuse to acknowledge that this computer stuff isn't conquerable and I will press forward.  More posts with photos, I promise, coming soon.