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Highlights of 2010

December 29, 2010

These are in no particular order whatsoever.

  1. Celebrating my birthday under Landscape Arch at Arches National Park in Utah. (Well, I guess this IS in a particular order, since I’m starting with my birthday, which is one of my all-time favorite holidays.) My Tilley Hat and I were right there:
  2. Eating apple pie baked by Kerry Clare at Pickle Me This, who graciously offered to bake a pie when I lamented the fact that there was no good pie to be eaten in Toronto. I’ve since discovered Wanda’s Pie in the Sky, thanks to Prince Edward County’s wonderful Ruth Gangbar (but Kerry’s pie still can’t be beat).
  3. Learning to identify a Robin. Might not seem like much, but it was a huge milestone in the life of a somewhat birder.
  4. Seeing my first Magnolia Warbler (Dendroica magnolia) at Rondeau Provincial Park. That was also the day I saw so many warblers I began to suffer from a seasoned birder’s condition called warbler neck. I went back to being a novice birder the following day, which is just as well. The greatest thing about being a novice is that everything is SO EXCITING and SO SPECTACULAR that every single birding trip, even the ones where I see next to nothing, is completely and wholly stunning. Because sometimes it’s my first time seeing nothing in a particular place! How exciting is that?!
  5. Reading Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain on a beach in Turks and Caicos. There I am, suntanning with Thomas Mann. (I’m more of a shade person.)
  6. Standing face to face with a bald eagle at Tribune Bay on Hornby Island, BC. This picture features neither the bald eagle nor yours truly, but what’s life without a little imagination, right? The tide was low, the weather gods granted us our only sunny day (out of 9 days of unrelenting rain) and the bald eagle and I had a little tete-a-tete.
  7. Watching woodpeckers in Algonquin slowly and methodically beat perfect lines of holes into the tree directly outside our bedroom, starting at 6 a.m.
  8. Receiving packages of handmade soap from the wondrous Fireweed Meadow. They smell great, they lather perfectly, they’re all natural. Bliss.
  9. Learning to use my binoculars (I mean, I still have the occasional pine cone rather than bird sighting, but that too has a certain caché), discovering a whole world of fabulous bird nerds, getting good mileage out of my Tilley hat, learning new avian vocabulary. It’s an exciting world to tap into and I feel fortunate to have found both the time and the generous guides/teachers for exploring this new hobby.
  10. All the handwritten letters and cards I’ve received over the course of this past year. And the packages. And the unexpected connections I’ve made/rekindled thanks to this blog!
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