Living rural in the city is great – you can do it, too.

Category: Site news

An updated Point Pelee trip (two, actually) report

Way back in 2011 when I was a beginning birder, I visited Point Pelee National Park for the first time. I wrote a trip report for the group I’d joined. They didn’t end up publishing it, and though I was free to do, I didn’t manage to get around to it — or if I did, it was an afterthought that went away while merging my old website to this one here in 2016. However, I did keep the Point Pelee Pictorial post from my trip there in 2013, and I recently revisited it.

In the intervening years, it’s only had 14 views, some of them surely my own. It also was of a lower quality than I’d like to have thought worth sharing, even given the evolution of expectations and image technology since then. So I just gave it a solid update—because a trip report is practically irrelevant of when it actually happens; what you see is timely for the place and the season.

Every year, migrating birds come in to Point Pelee between April and June, and depart through there again in September. The difference in the place visited is whether people build (or close) a trail, renovate a park building, how much the trees grow, how the vegetation and water ecology shifts, how the roads degrade with disuse and frost heaves and plant life that break them up. Like this, which is not a picture of a river, but of a former road, perhaps from before it became a National Park:

An old park road at Point Pelee, returning to nature
When this announcement has served its purpose, I’ll add this image of the re-naturalizing road (from 2011) into the Point Pelee Pictorial.

Upshot: I compiled my 2011 trip report into the 2013 blog post, and added the 2013 Big Day birding list (new information to the blog!), so it should actually be an interesting read for you now. So please, check out my Point Pelee Pictorial blog post — and make your own plans to go there for either this September’s fall migration, or next May’s spring arrival.

Spring 2021: a long-ish update

April comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

Spring,” a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Sorry about my over-long absence – it’s been so long that the interface WordPress shows me is unfamiliar, and I’m distracted by its novelty and the maintenance backlog —and more ideas of things to do on this blog.

Last year and the year before, I had the intention to write much more, but I couldn’t bring myself to. I’d log in, do the routine maintenance, and then a strong bout of snooziness would overtake me. And the longer I failed to post something new and different here, the more guilty I felt. Not posting when-I-could-have is a lost opportunity to show at least several hundred people the fun/beneficial things I’d done that they could try, too.

Like what? Well, in this time – started even earlier — I set up my home with bird strike-proofing. And I continued to garden flowers and native plants, though last summer I got a grand total of 6 apple-sized tomatoes and maybe a pint basket of autumn-green, kitchen-ripened cherry tomatoes.

These activities are as quotidian to me as the motions of private daily life. So writing about them isn’t a constant source of inspiration like they were when I was first adopting new, green practices. They feel more like empty bragging: look what I have; hope you can do the same! and I’m the kind of person that would rather just do than be seen doing.

In 2020, everyone had to shut down activities in the face of uncertainty about human interaction. Now, it’s true: blogs are kinda passive; they don’t require much human interaction. But even with the niggling intention to do something for the blog, I just needed, wanted, couldn’t help but redirect my attention to things where, having put them away while pursuing other work, I was finally allowed to catch up.

And thank God we all were forced to stop busy-work, stop socializing, and stop “networking” last year. It finally enabled our latent and long-desired-but-not-permitted ability to Work From Home and travel less (and therefore reduce congestion, pollution, and unnecessary energy use). It made me realize how much our every day sociability and FOMO was literally killing time, preventing reflection, and obscuring focus. Turning my back on public and equivalent digital life did me a world of good.

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