Chasing Birds

I've got a garden to tend, birds to find, beers to drink, and stories to share.

Episode IV: A New Hope


Every year, as the field season nears, my desire to write is slowly restored. One year ago, I bought this domain name with the intent to chronicle my first field season as an avian field biologist. And failed. Miserably. I wrote quite a bit while waiting out windstorms in the back of my truck and recorded some voice memos on my phone while walking to survey points, but could never quite get them to the website. Mostly I couldn’t settle on a cohesive design and, because I struggle with the intermediate steps of most projects where the end result is going to be awesome, I wanted to have a finished product before sharing it with the world. Clearly, I lost motivation on the design end of things and nothing ever made it to the web. Perfectionism is both a blessing and a curse. Though mostly a curse for those of us afflicted by it. (For those of you non-perfectionists: the grass is always greener, right?)

Website design excuses aside, I find it extremely difficult to write outside the bounds of the field season. There’s just something about pure, undiluted time spent outdoors in solitude that pushes me to write. Maybe the solitude part is the key here. I suppose writing isn’t too different from talking aloud to no one which I am also prone to doing during the field season.

I also know that it’s not for lack of things to celebrate. I am embracing life in my late twenties. I really enjoy my job and love the organization that I work for. I am also lucky to have a patient husband who dishes out reality checks like what and a dog who’s, well, a little on the nutty side. But I often find it particularly difficult to write for the sake of self expression when I spend 8-10 hours a day in an office. By December, my back aches from sitting and my right wrist is virtually useless. I think about my career as a biologist and what the future might entail, especially if I ever want to earn a higher salary. For most, a higher salary means less time afield and more time attached to that monitor, with an aching wrist and back. The downward spiral of moving up the ladder.

But I digress.

And now here we are. A new year and the 30 gazillionth blog on the interweb. But it’s mine, so I’m going to keep an open mind and see where it takes me. Here’s to hoping it’s somewhere fun.

Leave a Reply