This is how it all started…
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir
I started birding a few years ago after I had left my teaching job of over 20 years to help my dad care for my mom. Her health was rapidly declining and he needed help with her. She, of course, didn’t want a stranger looking after her so I stepped in. I mean she raised me, how could I say no? I am very thankful for the opportunity to have spent that extra time with her for the 4 years I helped care for her. I know if I had stayed in the classroom we wouldn’t have had as much time together. But I stray from my story. I had bird feeders up in our yard at home and would fill them but I never paid much attention to the birds that came to the feeders until I was caring for her. There were days when she would nod off and take long naps and instead of sitting by the tv, I would watch the birds out their morning room windows. After awhile I decided to take pictures of the birds that would come to the feeders, that way I could share them with her. I remember the first time I saw a Red-bellied Woodpecker in their yard and rushed out the backdoor to get a shot of it. Every time I went after it, she would always ask me if I got the shot. The pictures also served as a record of what I was seeing and the pictures helped me identify the birds. I hate to think of all the birds that have come to the feeders over the years that I didn’t pay attention to. Mom passed in 2018 and I walked away from my camera and birding for a few months because it was too much. I soon realized that birding helped me connect with her. It helped ease my pain. So now I am a birder. I enjoy discovering new places to bird close to home and all over the place. Birding has taken me from the beach to the mountains, to much of the southeastern United States and even up to the northeastern United States this past summer.