It’s Been Awfully Quiet Around Here

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!
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5 thoughts on “It’s Been Awfully Quiet Around Here”

  1. Ditto! My posting dropped off when I switched to all work and no school. Still doing stuff, but when it’s a choice between doing something and writing about stuff, doing wins over writing. But here’s to a good year and more to come!

  2. Hang in there! :) Oregon is magical. If you ever need tips on Central Oregon adventures, let me know, I lived there for 6 years and just moved back to the East Coast. Whatever’s going on in your personal life, good luck – I know how it feels to get handed a deck you weren’t expecting. Take care!

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