Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Grading papers, paying bills and watching birds

Yep. It's been one of those days - weeks. The papers are great and I have to finish all the reading before 5pm tomorrow. Sigh. I also have three appointments and in the midst of all of this work I have learned that a special friend has died.

She was funny and energetic and she introduced me to birding. I never thought I would enjoy standing in the tall grass waiting for that single winged creature to light on the branch hanging over our hidden spot. She took me with a group of serious birders and I discovered following those creatures could be an exciting adventure.

For most birders, it's about collecting a list of birds they have actually seen. For me it has become a much simpler venture - proof that the world is filled with creatures that I can actually find and view even in my own backyard. I am always amazed when I have seen a feathered friend that is rare and generally not found in this location. I love the feeling that I am part of something so much larger than myself and completely out of my control. After a morning (it is always very early when you can spot those unique birds) waiting for a specific creature to land, I am motivated to be more aware of how my behavior impacts their world. While it may sound trite, birding is a powerful influence on my environmental consciousness.

So this message is a thank you to my friend who died this week. She will continue to live through the birding I include in my days.

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