I admit, however, that, with the New Year, the listing bug comes out of remission for a few weeks. Even my husband succumbs - he may not go birding any other day of the year, but New Year's Day finds him out in the field with me. You see, I do keep an annual list of birds that I see, and for a few weeks at the beginning of the year, I am back in my teenage mode again, when I came back from every day in the field with fifteen or twenty lifers. My journal goes with me everywhere, so that I can keep up with my list of species that I am seeing for the first time this year. These days, I also make a little narrative entry about the sightings - I note the American Kestrel was sitting on a wire eating a long-tailed mouse - I saw the Pileated Woodpecker from my recliner in my living room, when he landed on a sugar maple just beyond the deck railing. As I get older, I treasure these experiences more and more, and they seem to me to be worth writing about, so that at a future time my journal will act as a key to the jewelry box that is my memory, and I can take my treasures out, one by one, and marvel at their beauty all over again.
|Woman watches dog watch squirrels|