Here are some random highlights from 2009
Birding by ear at the Wilds, May 2009
-16 birds added to my life list, including the Bobolink (aka Dennis Rodman bird) and Grasshopper Sparrow (my first bird in the hand - SUCH an amazing experience!). Not to mention the learning of lots of new bird songs.
Oops - I incorrectly identified this as a Savannah Sparrow on my post about the Birding by Ear weekend back in May (it's a Grasshopper Sparrow)!
Making friends with a Grasshopper Sparrow
Met fellow bloggers.
I had the good fortune to meet up with several of my blogging friends in person throughout the year. I met Jim McCormac during the aforementioned birding weekend at the Wilds. Then I met Kelly (aka Peanut) of Red and the Peanut, with whom I spent a whole day birding in the beautiful Hocking Hills region in July. Several days later I met Shelley of Birding in Michigan on our way to vacation in northern Michigan. I almost met Tom of the Ohio Nature Blog while he was working at the ODNR Natural Resources Park at the Ohio State Fair, but our timing didn't quite work out. Maybe in '10, Tom! In September, Dave and I made our way up to Lakeside, OH, for the Midwest Birding Symposium. There I met Nina (Nature Remains), Julie Zickefoose, Bill of the Birds, and Mike Bergin, founder of 10,000 Birds and creator of the Nature Blog Network. It was really good to make face-to-face contact with all these folks with whom I had only had virtual conversations for so long.
...for the presence of several moths (Polyphemus and Hummingbird Clearwing) to Butterflies and Moths of North America. Hooray for citizen science!
Hummingbird Clearwing moth
Took a record number of flora photos.
I took more pictures of flowers in 2009 than in any other year since I got my Nikon D50 (653 flower photos in 2006, 131 in 2007, 784 in 2008, and 4,117 in 2009). Among them, new finds on the property, such as...
Lily-leafed Twayblade and Jack-in-the-Pulpit.
Started another blog
Yes, in a fit of madness I decided that I needed another blog by which to convey my photographs. Thus, Photography of the Hills was born. No descriptions or writing there, just images meant to evoke some emotion. That blog has been languishing a bit as of late, but I hope to revive it in the new year. It's possible that I will discuss photography a bit on that blog in the future, but we'll see how it develops. I'm crafting in my mind a "Looking back" post for that blog as I write this, so check it out. Also, as a part of the creation of the photo blog, I learned just enough HTML to enable me to jazz up both of the blogs a little beyond the simple Blogger-provided templates.
Midwest Birding Symposium, September 2009
I knew the MBS would be interesting and educational, but who knew it would be so much fun, too? I went into it knowing I would see quite a few of my blogging friends, most for the first time, which made it that much more special.
Whilst attending the symposium I got to attend a bird banding demo, where I saw so many birds up close and personal, like the Swainson's Thrush (lifer!) and Brown Thrasher.
One thing I learned while at the symposium: when going to a new, interesting location that has lots of natural attractions around, try to add a few extra days to the trip outside of the scheduled symposium/festival/workshop days. I did NOT do that, and I really feel like I missed out on seeing lots of cool stuff in this area of northwest Ohio.
In my next post, I'll tell you what I'm looking forward to in 2010!