Friday, November 13, 2009

Happy Friday

I think the tree fungus in today’s photo is false turkey tail, but please don’t hold me to that. Every time I think I’m improving my fungus-identification skills, I find another 20 species that seem to fit just as well. Not only is my learning curve on these things steep, but I’m starting to think it’s approaching hopeless.

I enjoy looking at and for woodland fungus, but you should probably take my poor attempts at identification with a grain of salt. Maybe I should just stick to birds. I’m pretty good with those.

A good many birders I know bemoan the days of winter birding as unexciting, but I don’t agree. It’s true that this time of year it’s difficult to find, say, 50 species of birds in a few hours of birding, but I find other compensations. This is a good time of year to spend more time watching the birds do what they do.

In May, it’s easy to get caught up trying to find that next good bird than it is to think about spending much time with something as common as a song sparrow. In November, the odds finding unusual birds are much higher, so you might as well pay more attention to the ones around the yard.

And if you are a new birder, now is the perfect time for birding. Spend some time getting to know the local and common birds so that when May or April comes around, you can focus on the visitors.

For me, winter birding is pleasurable because my view into the forest is now unrestricted by greenery. The birds are no longer just a brief flit between leaves. I can actually see them and watch what they’re going. I guess this is all just by way of saying that I’m ready for Saturday when I can spend a few hours in daylight fooling around and looking for birds. Happy Friday!

1 comment:

Woodswalker said...

Except for a few exceptional species, mushrooms ARE hard to ID. Even experienced experts have to take them apart, make spore prints, etc. to be sure of some of them. And often, even when I find a mushroom I'm sure of, the photos in the mushroom guides look nothing like it. But it's still fun to keep trying to know their names. The most important thing, though, is to enjoy their beauty.

Three days from now I am having a new lens placed in one eye, and then I hope I will be able to see the birds like I haven't been able to since the second grade (a l-o-o-o-ng time ago!). A whole new area of nature observing awaits!