Today is the first day of Spring and I sit here listening to the sounds of a Wood Thrush behind me... on a cd. As this winter just doesn't seem to want to go away and I look for the small signs in the natural world that Spring is indeed coming regardless of the snow and cold temperatures, I still push it a little more by playing bird song cds in the kitchen. The Wood Thrush is one of my favorite calls! Check this link for various Thrush songs, about halfway down is a few of the Wood Thrush.
But anyways, back to what this blog is really about. Why do I blog?
Well, this question gets asked every now and then. One of the main reasons a couple people have asked me is because they don't see a whole lot of feedback in the comments section below the blogs. Even one or two comments to them seems not worth the whole ordeal of typing out these tales and sharing photos.
I say that is why I do it. To share a story and photos, for family, friends, strangers, whoever. And these things are for me too. It's an online journal of my adventures out there with the wild ones. I don't go back to the stories very often, but once in a while something brings up one of these old stories of mine and I can revisit it or easily share it to another.
These people aren't on any social media either, so telling them the conversations that generate at these sites because of my stories isn't proof enough.
And interestingly enough, they don't seem to catch on that them talking to me about my blog, discussing some recent occurrence is feedback just like someone commenting on the blog site; even after I bring this up. LoL!
I get lots of praise from the stories. Sometimes I get negative feedback. Sometimes something I've shared suddenly changes a person's view of me. Sometimes for the better. Sometimes for the worse. I take it all in stride. So here's something for those who ask me why I blog since they don't always see what's going on outside of this page.
In the past year I've shared this blog a few times through other blogs called Through The Eyes of a Saw-whet. As I logged in today, it's gotten another 30 hits this week. I've been told I am passionate, creative and a few have said I'm borderline crazy. Maybe I am a little of all three? But whatever the case may be, it's brought to light some of the don'ts regarding mingling with Northern Saw-whet Owls in the wild.
Sweet little sleepy Sam.
This more recent tale of helping out a dying cat in the middle of the road brought out a lot of emotions in people. One told me to post a warning before I share such a story as it brought them to tears. Why I Didn't Like This Monday. I heard from others saying they weren't sure they could do what I did that night. Some newcomers to my blog realized I'm more than just a long haired guy who likes metal music and a couple shots of whiskey every week. That last bit comes up often as people get to know me through my blog and social media pages. Funny how in this day and age some people still judge a book by it's cover.
This is a very powerful image of that night. And I hope someone out there decided to not let their kitty out the next evening after seeing it.
This story from late in 2013, to the rescue again (sort of) once again proved I may be a little crazy WITH passion. The most common comment I heard was "yer crazy messing with a Raccoon!" My only reply ever is "How could I not try and help?" Indeed Raccoons can be quite vicious creatures and they have a very bad reputation for being destructive; but they are just trying to survive outside in a world overtaken by humans and constant development. They are clever, crafty creatures and you got to commend them for adapting. Don't get pissed off because they dumped your green bin on the sidewalk. Be smart, don't put the bin out until the morning of pick-up. Secure your green bin wherever you store it. We use an old car battery on ours, out on our front porch. We've never had an issue. Regularly inspect the exterior of your home for signs of tampering or possible entry from wildlife. Don't act like it will never happen to you and then blow your lid when it does. But as I said above, "how could I not try and help?" This animal was badly injured. I had the highest of hopes for him, but in the end him being humanely put down was far better than how much more pain and suffering he would endure outside as winter rolled in.
Look at that face. I was a little intimidated by the sounds he made during my attempt to capture him but I wasn't giving up. I am by no means a trained professional but am chocked full of common sense and was fortunate enough to have a cage sitting in the shed that assisted me in catching him that night. Without that cage, I don't think I could have done it. Actually I know I could not have done it.
As much positive feedback I got from helping this Raccoon, there was negative too from the soulless cold hearts that see nothing but vermin with a Raccoon.
And that word vermin comes up as well with my pal Pierre and his gang. Pigeons = flying rats. Useless city birds that shit on everything and are good for nothing. I guess crazy and passionate come into play here once again. I've been warned many times of the disease carrying varmints those birds can be. Nothing a good hand washing after their visits don't take care of. It's not like I hand feed Pierre and then grab a sandwich right away. Sheesh! It's pretty cool how he walked into our lives one day, chose us, no coaxing with food, and has hung around all this time.
Pierre last week, March 12th, with hopefully the last big snow storm of the season.
And one more story that sent ripples through the realm was this one about a celebrity raptor in south western Ontario. A Red-tailed Hawk that one can pretty much go up and give a pat on the head. I never even said anything about anyone, just my experience, what I felt. But I guess it shows my stand on somethings dealing with humans and wildlife, and with that, it seems some have taken a step back from me, as unfortunate as it is. While no real discussions have been made their actions speak louder than words from this as they distance themselves from me. Apparently I might be a bit of a buzz kill with photographers who enjoy such shenanigans with wild birds of prey. What can I say? You go your way, I will go mine. I guess they are proof to this Beautiful Hawk, Ugly People story.
The blood spilled from other living creatures, shown across the face of this Hawk, came from humans all in the name of getting a photograph.
I want to end this on a high note. Many may recall that banded female American Goldfinch from late last summer who was visiting our nyjer feeders. That was one heck of a great story to many in the birding world. I Got Her Number. I shared the adventure almost from day 1 of spotting her until the day I got her full band number and was able to report her. Friends and strangers alike cheered me on through this, and many felt like they were right there in the backyard for this adventure. I was crazy to spend so much time and take so many photos of her legs to get those numbers, but there's that passionate bit as well. People were on the edge of their seats as I got closer and closer to getting the full number. And when it was over, there was a big HOORAY across the birding world, er, those around me in the birding world, and those who followed me through social media as I got it. Once again, another adventure that got people talking. No negativity this time and even those not really into birds were quite impressed and interested. It made others open their eyes a little more to the birds visiting their backyards because you never know when you may too have a banded bird show up at your feeder. And I like to think I've inspired others to try and get that band number in the future. I still remember the banding people I told this tale to and each and every one of them was so happy to know she was alive and well.
So while there isn't always a comment under a blog of mine; there's still much activity because of the stories. I like the discussion one might bring up. It's so cool when someone out of the blue comes up and talks to me about one of the tales. I'm surprised they read it and happy to chat about it. I will engage the negative ones as well. In the end people learn more about me, but more importantly about the wild world around us, not needing to even leave their own town or backyard to experience it. I learn about others because of my blog, both good and bad. Those I seldom speak to discovering we have something in common, or they just want to thank me for the stories and seeing what I see. If someone turns off the television and goes outside, looks at a bird, gets online to ID it, maybe suddenly finds themselves buying a bird guide for the future sightings, perhaps volunteering with one of the many organizations around us, maybe opening up their wallet and making a donation, comes up and talks to me about these things, maybe develops a new friendship because of this stuff... then it's all worth it to me. If none of it, it's an online journal for me, great reminders as time goes by of things I've seen or done, and so far almost all so close to home.