Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Few Thoughts

So I've finally got my scope back and have been birding daily with it.  Its amazing that I can actually SEE the birds now!!! WOOHOO!!!! (I had been borrowing one that had really sucked.)

Its funny how much more you appreciate something once its gone and then you get it back.  I don't think I'll ever complain about my scope (if it remains unbroken) again.

As many of you may know, within the past few years I've been through quite the trials.  I wish I didn't have to go through such trials to learn to appreciate things and to the importance and value of of them in my life.  While a scope may not seem important to most people - it is the lifeline of any birder looking into ponds, oceans, mudflats, etc.  Still, most of the trials I've been through have been on a much larger scale such loosing friends, failing to achieve goals, and perhaps the most trying experience of all - dealing with the pain, inability to move, and necessary humility which accompanied the development of Rheumatiod Arthritis.

Reflecting on the lessons learned through these trials reminds me that no matter what happens I will grow from it; you grow from both positives and negatives.  While I hope for a few more positives in the next few weeks than have existed in the last few, I recognize that the negatives lead to positives and really aren't as bad as they seem initially.  

Recent negative experiences have reminded me how AMAZING my friends are and how many in number they truly are - so many people have been supportive and encouraging - even some who I never expected to be there for me after everything still remain.  Additionally, I have been reminded at my own strengths, how lucky I am to be where I am and have what I have, and that I really do love what I do and that it can help me through anything as well.  

With all of that going for me - there is no possibliity that the negatives outweigh the positives at any point in time.  For, even if it doesn't always initially seem like it, all it takes is some reflection and perspective to remember, see, and feel it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Update

So I realized the other day that I've been terrible at updating this lately.  Which is probably a good thing due to the massive rollercoaster I've been on in the past few weeks.  But basically the long of it is I can basically rewind the time and be at the same place now when its fast forwarded.  

The only real thing that's changed is the number of birds in NH which seems to have declined dramatically.  Soon things will pick up though.  That's what I've been telling myself for 3 weeks now.  Maybe it will come true soon. 

I can't wait until the field season kicks up so I can burry myself into work and really get back to what's important.  I also can't wait for opening day (13 days!!! Woohoo!!!).  And I get my spotting scope back today... so many things to keep me going.  Not to mention Women in Science is this week.  

In other excitement I've re-discovered tea - specifically black tea - plain old Lipton's.  Its so delicious and awesome and tastey and... I look forward to making my cup every day at UNH with the handy little hot water tap that saves you boiling time... 

I've also started to listening to country music way more again.  I used to listen to it all the time - particularly in college up til Seniorish year... and now... I can't stop listening again.  It's addicting.  
Finally, I was stung by a wasp on Tuesday.  Since I'm a wimp I'm mentioning it here and now because the evidence is still there!  But it is finally going away!  Woohoo!!!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

How to find a Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus)

The following will contrast two distinctly different approaches to finding a NSWO

Ben Method:
1. Find deciduous forest with some coniferous components
2. Go to forest between 8pm and 12am
3. Walk in to forest
4. Whistle
5. Hear owl calling
6. Continue to whistle
7. Locate owl as it:
a. Flies above your head constantly before landing
b. Lands and makes noise on the branch
8.  Shine owl with light, congratulations you have found your NSWO

Len Method:
1. Have to “relieve” yourself in the middle of the day
2. Go into woods
3. Relieve yourself
4. Hear Black-capped Chickadees
5. Look up and see Black-capped Chickadees bombarding NSWO,  congratulations you have found your NSWO

Which worked? Why would I even be posting this if it was the first?