Click .....clicking.....click....pause.... Walk over and view out. No, I don't see a Little Black Dress but I do see a black bird, very lovely and very frightened and so utterly alone except for some nameless, well..... for now.... in the Mesquite tree in my courtyard, my house here. No fire escape to land upon, but only the twisted branches of the Mesquite as the moonlight, oh....perhaps wider than a mile it might seem, has come to rest upon and crossed, in style I might add....the dark color of this black bird.
I straighten.....and I too with a bit of style....I lean into the outside as my first look at a lonely one, again....not in a black dress, although perhaps someday that might be. Yet the black bird now, who sits in that Mesquite tree, criss-crossed with light from the moon, ....now appears to be just a dream. No bird...no black bird, just a dream-maker as I am fooled by the fold of branches. Oh, such a Heart Breaker I must admit; for where-ever you're going, I am going your way.
Like two drifters, we have become, one who is now further sunken into the branches of the Mesquite...though not of this world at present, yet 'off to see the world' is best to pre-suppose, for there is such a lot of world to see. Sometimes I sense, more so than think, that the bird and I, when together...we are after the same rainbow's end.
So I wait some more, ....just like one would be waiting around the bend in hopes of meeting their once 'huckleberry friend'....In the river of a moon, and me.....Hi.
I had....if you can scroll down one blog, .....a New Years birding resolution, but now, as I sit here and ponder a bit, and admittedly sometimes I just stare or take that big move and just leave to take a nap. Why not? But I want to simply 'strike that'...
No, no birding New Year's resolution for me. In fact, I really don't like the concept behind resolutions or the whole process inherent within.
So with that in mind; my 'striking' of any birding resolution just fits me. This is Jim, this is me. I am not you, nor them. "Winging it' ...is just plain old me. Too much planning creates Chaos. I used to plan, and in fact even have blogged on the perils of. I might have dwelled on all possible variables to the situation, which inevitably brought upon a written matrix to guide me to the best possible end result. In the past, as a younger man falling victim to 'what was supposed to be' or to the 'teachings of others', that dang matrix would just drive me nuts. Yes be it written on paper or done on (egads) the digital world of the computer, ....lines and columns and data would be collected or written upon. But I am telling you; Planning creates Chaos. Winging it creates Adventure.
So, no planning, no resolutions. Just pure 'winging' it. The term 'Winging' it' comes from the theater. Oh yes, "the theater, the theater....oh what happened to the theater". Forward to 45 seconds and listen to Danny Kaye.
But the term 'winging it' stemmed from the 19 century theater, way prior to Danny Kaye although I bet he was born pretty close to it. When an actor/actress was called upon to fill in for another, and they 'nay not the lines', well....they improvised, or winged it.
But as a birder.....winging it at least sounds very appropriate given the subject matter. If I plan and create a resolution as I did in 2017 with birding, I just confuse myself. My birding becomes 'birding with intent' and we all know that if you go looking for something, you shall never find. For instance, have you ever gone looking for a 'Road Runner' and found it? Or a Goshawk? Or just about any bird with the exception of the 'usual'? So when creating a resolution filled of that 'type of bird', I just set myself up for failure. Chaos...is derived from planning.
The year 2022..... Birding. I am just winging it. I have a pair of binoculars to look out the window....I will go birding when I want, when I choose. I will enjoy nature as natural instead of planned. I will hear the crunch of iced snow beneath my feet or feel the sponginess of moss. I will have bitter wind brush against my face or hear the boring yet melancholy call of a mourning dove. Alone or in a group. The sea or the desert or even a mountain might call. Do birds go in the ocean? Any continent might due, yet one. A pure chaotic adventure is the only One I might ever know. Yes, I might bird alone, yet it won't be lonely. Someplace in those last few lines hit upon this below. Anyhow, enjoy 'winging it'.
Two things....2....and only two my dear feathered delighted friends, just to set you down a straight fly-zone as we work towards the depth of 2022.
I was talking with Deb the other day as we reminisced about past 'turns of a year'. Remember in 2000, when essentially the technology world was going to fall apart since no one quite knew how computers would 'accept and address' the new century? But even as 2000 came, and went...and sadly computers were still with us, .... we then postponed the 'conspiracy theory' that the world was coming to a close since the new century doesn't technically start until 2001.
Speaking of 'world coming to an end'....what happened to that Maya Calendar thing?
Anyhow....2022 it is now, and let me ask of you; do you have your birding goals set? I bring that as a question---for a goal is not that bad of a thing to have. As I perused thru one of my old journals, and this one dating from 2017, this is what I found.
Birding goals for 2018 were in New Jersey: Northern Goshawk, Virginia Rail, Cackling goose, Brown Pelican, Least Bittern, Cliff Swallow, Sedge Wren, Vesper Sparrow, Kentucky Warbler, Least Flycatcher and Northern Waterthrush. Now being a relatively new-comer to the fine state of Jersey, those were birds that were on my jersey list.
Since that time I have seen the Goshawk, I have heard the Virginia Rail several times (not bad), seen the Cackling Goose as well as the Pelican and the Cliff Swallow, but have woefully fallen short on the rest. So, am I to just assume that the remaining are just carried over like some old accounting trick on taxes to the following year? Perhaps my tax situation has changed and that particular bird, while nice to have, is not on my list anymore.
Wasn't it Alfred Tennyson who said:
"Ring out, wild bells....to the Wild Sky."
If such is true, the wild sky being my upcoming cycle of birding would most likely include the 'rest' on that dated list from 2017. Looking at that list, I don't think the Sedge Wren at Jakes Landing will occur since I will be in Australia for the balance of the upcoming months and Sedge Wrens are winter wrens around here. The elusive Northern Waterthrush, so seemingly easy to find...has just not made a visual impression upon me. I really feel it is one of those types of birds that just 'appear' and are not sought after.
The least bittern? ...while nice...it might also fall under the same category of a bird not easily sought, but just accidentally found. I feel I have a shot at the Kentucky Warbler if I make a point to bird some of the 'tall' trees upwards. The vesper sparrow? ... That is asking for one. The flycatcher? Ditto...
So my list has dwindled down to the Kentucky Warbler. If I tackle just one....just one...and only that sole creature, well...I might have a chance.
The other thing I would like to do as a goal is to 'bird' at least once per week. That isn't asking a lot and is doable since nature, is nature creeps towards us with every step we take. Bird the wires, the bushes....the lawns, let alone the refuges or parks or the shore or mountains or the skies. I just want to document these within my journal as I reflect from day to day, week to week...and certainly they add up to a year.
The second thing I wanted to point to you; beyond that of your birding goal'.... is that of visiting the Bird Forum. I have supported this forum since 2006 and have used it to find birds here in the US as I travel, to discuss optics and equipment...to find birding pals in South America and Australia..to sell or buy birding cameras's / binoculars etc... Truly a valuable resource. I don't like to participate much on e-bird but find the Bird Forum a nice resting spot for my attention when inclement weather hits and I can't bird in the field. Give it a shot.
Bottom line...two things. Your birding goals and Birding Forum.