On the blog, I mean.
In grad school, I was very busy but I had a flexible schedule that meant I often worked in the evenings and had plenty of free time during the day to wander around outside and go on adventures and take pictures. I also had easy access to beautiful natural surroundings, with miles and miles of hiking trails through the woods literally right outside my door. I was spoiled rotten.
Now I have a grown up job and I’m working a regular grown-up person’s 8-to-5 schedule. And counterintuitively, despite the fact that I live in the middle of nowhere, it’s about an hour’s drive each way to get from where I live to get to any good hiking. (The land close by is mostly private ranches, and even in the National Forest there aren’t a whole lot of developed trails outside a few popular areas.) There have also been some changes in my personal life that mean that, if I only have time and energy for one expedition with a long drive over the weekend, going hiking by myself probably isn’t going to be it.
All of this isn’t to say I’m unhappy, just that there’s a reason why I haven’t been writing blog posts three times a week (or even once a week) lately. I still care about this stuff, and I’m still going to continue blogging as I have time and material, but it’s probably going to continue to be slow for a while. In the meantime, you can always follow me on Twitter, where I post photos, links, and short updates pretty regularly.
Anyway, it’s December now, so just like I’ve done for the past couple years I’m going to go ahead and write up a recap of my year in nature for you (because that’s not narcissistic of me at all, amiright?).
- In January I got to hobnob with a famous porcupine. It was a big moment for me, okay.
- In February I traveled to the winter birding mecca Sax-Zim Bog and added not one, not two, but three owl species to my life list.
- In March I spotted my first naked-eye comet since I was a kid. (Rest in peace, ISON.)
- In April I checked another item off my birding bucket list when I observed a Greater Prairie Chicken lek. Woo-hoo! This spring maybe Sage Grouse?
- In May I got some great up-close looks at a Killdeer nest.
- Then came June. I drove across the country from Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin to Long Creek, Oregon with all of my earthly possessions crammed into my Honda Civic. Through the looking glass, indeed.
- In July I joined the twenty-first century and bought my first smart phone, allowing me to post my nature pics right from the field.
- In August I discovered that some species of butterfly are considered pest insects. Who knew?
- In September I got to see a real, wild salmon run through the viewing windows in the Bonneville Dam’s fish ladder, and it was AMAZING. Also: lampreys!
- In October I rebelled against the federal government shutdown by hiking on National Forest land at a time when it may technically have been illegal. I’m still not sure.
- In November I… only wrote four blog posts, and one of them was just a linkspam. Still not sure what’s going on with this deer’s face.
- And now it’s December. If you had told me a year ago what my life was going to be like now – professionally, personally, everything – I would have been dumbfounded. Here’s to more adventures in 2014!