About the Accidental Birder
How it all happened.
Upon meeting my soon-to-be-in-laws, I was asked, “So, are you a birder?”
Sensing my hesitation, they all said in unison, as if they had rehearsed this before: “Well, you are now!” and they chuckled heartily.
So, since meeting my husband, I’ve become a birder. An accidental birder, at best. I can’t go all day like my husband can (how does he do that?) and I can’t name the species by sight, let alone by sound, like he can, but boy has it taken me out of my comfort zone and put me in places I never even thought of going to before like the Amazon, Galapagos Islands, the Andes and even undiscovered places in my own hometown.
I’ve taken up photography, mostly because if we’re going to be out all day looking for birds I might as well capture a snap or two. It’s not a surprise that we married in the Spring because that’s a good time to celebrate anniversaries by taking vacations when migration occurs. (That was the husband’s master plan, natch.)
My day job is working in Corporate America, and my hiking shoes sit right next to my Jimmy Choos. It’s the perfect blend for a balanced life and you’ll never find me at the end of the year holding a bunch of unused vacation days because there are birds to be found and fresh air to be breathed.
This blog, hopefully, will help others who are a lot like me understand more about birds and what they contribute to this world. And if I can convert one or two new birders along the way that would be great.
Sometimes accidents happen for a reason.
There’s a memoir in the works.
Two things happened in 2020, which changed the trajectory of my writing: COVID-19 kept us all bound to our homes and I started to write more. It started with travel writing workshops where I would gather with a group of eight other writers and worked on an essay for each 6-8 week workshop. Then I received some shattering health news and realized, All this may come to a screeching halt–all this traveling and birding and discovery about myself.
Steve and I adjusted our bucket list of places we wanted to explore. Well, as soon as we could travel again once there was a vaccine and once we all are able to crawl out of the COVID-19 nightmare. Places we were thinking of putting off until my retirement now rose higher on our list. And then one morning I awoke and realized it was time to put all this into a book.
The memoir shows how being dragged into my partner’s weird hobby has turned out to be magical. Pulling back the curtain and entering into this world of birds not only took me to extraordinary places, but it taught me that I was braver than I thought, challenging me all along the way. Readers will be able to experience my growth as I discover new places and new birds.
There are many books written by birders about birding, but this book is different because I am not an experienced or knowledgable birder or ornithologist. My memoir is a story about birds, learning about oneself and love. And that hope is truly the thing with feathers.