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Reflections 1

Posted Monday 3rd September 2007 at 11:56 by jedku
Updated Monday 3rd September 2007 at 20:47 by jedku
Birding. Over the years it has given so much peace, pleasure, discovery. So much naked attention given in the woods, on the beach and marsh, etc. Always training the mind to see smaller and smaller differences and to remember details and past sights for comparison.
Why do I bird? There are alot of answers. But in total honesty, one of the unconscious motives is the need to escape. I wonder how many have felt the same motive? Unemployment? A difficult marriage or childhood home? stressful job? When we head out dressed for the weather of the day, we find a new sense of self in the hunt for birds. The life problems fade away for the time.
I improved my birding alot whilst unemployed. Eventually, I was good enough to work a low paying job counting birds several hundred miles from my home....escape.
Scanning the sky for flights of grebes and ducks was a group of us -- all escapees, except one. He was a successful bird photography who came to spend a few days with us hoping for a real rarity. He was the only extrovert among us and entertained us with a story about nearly dying in Antarctica and other bird-photographer adventures.
He told us how there are more good photos available than ever before and less money in the selling of the photos. However, the number of people with disposable income who want to be nature photographers has mushroomed. And so, they are increasingly the source of his income as he runs regular workshops throughout the year.
In a way, he was now marketing himself. His stories, his healthy gaunt body and weather beaten face, his clothes-for-all-weather style. He was living the dream as an all-out bird-photographer. For those dreaming of escape, here was an icon and a role-model, an escapee who turned his escape into a successful life. He really did make a name for himself selling photographs, but now he also sells stories and dreams.
Total Comments 2


Gillian_M's Avatar
Hi Jedku,

Your entry really touched me. I completely agree that the reason I bird (other than to find that spectacular new bird!) is to escape, not so much the problems of life, but the monotony and the hassles and the bustle of life. In the woods, or while driving on a lonely back-country road, I feel more at peace than anywhere else. Out there, with the birds and other wild creatures, humanity's pettiness and selfishness are forgotten, and become both absurd and insignificant. Few people seem to understand this, which is an awful shame, because if more people did, the world would be a much better place.

Posted Monday 3rd September 2007 at 12:49 by Gillian_M Gillian_M is offline
Surreybirder's Avatar
Well said, Jedku.
Like Gillian, I find that birding (and other forms of wildlife watching, including photography) is a way of 'unwinding'. I don't find that I relax much just trying to do nothing. But when I'm on the trail of a bird or taking in the wonders of the natural world, I forget about the stresses and strains of life and am not even worrying about how I am feeling. Creation is wonderful - whether or not you believe in a Creator!
Posted Monday 3rd September 2007 at 17:12 by Surreybirder Surreybirder is offline
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