Happy 2010, everyone, and best wishes for a healthy and happy new year! Before I say anything else, I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you who have read Heather of the Hills throughout 2009, and I hope to offer you more glimpses into the natural world that I love so much into 2010 and beyond!
I'm already looking ahead to several great events that I will be attending early in 2010, all of which will be wonderful learning opportunities.
Wilds Winter Extravaganza at the Wilds (sponsored by OOS), January 16, 2010
Oh how I love the Wilds. While it is my understanding that most time spent at this event will be driving along the outskirts of the Wilds' property, we traveled several of these roads during the Birding by Ear event last May, and they make for good birding! Can't wait to add some new raptors to my life list, and perhaps some new waterfowl, too. Plus, I look forward to seeing old and new birding friends!
Flora-Quest, May 1-2, 2010
Here I will have a chance to spread my naturalist wings a bit by boosting my botanizing skills. Remember those 4000+ flower photos I took in 2009? I bet I'll take 1000+ just during this one weekend in 2010! In addition, I'm very excited that I will finally be visiting the Shawnee State Forest and the Edge of Appalachia preserve. I've heard so many amazing things about the diverse flora and fauna that calls this part of the state home, and it's really ridiculous that I haven't visited this patch of forest that's only a few hours west of where I call home. I guess the allure of the Hocking Hills along with my home-body nature keeps me from feeling too compelled to seek out beauty elsewhere in this great state of Ohio.
Biggest Week in American Birding, May 6-16
"Warblers are dripping from the trees, right at eye level." That's one description I have heard of spring migration along the boardwalk at Magee Marsh in northwest Ohio. I've been wanting to make the spring pilgrimage up there for years, so when I heard about this inaugural festival during the Midwest Birding Symposium last September, I figured this was the "excuse" I needed to get my butt and my bins up there and see this warbler mania firsthand. LOTS of great activities are planned. Among other things, this will be a good chance for me to visit Oak Openings, another popular natural area in Ohio that I have heard great things about. One thing is for sure: I've got to start studying my warblers, both visually and auditorally (is that a word?), so I will know what the heck I'm seeing and hearing!
As I ponder what the new year holds, it's not just about naturalist events. I also hope to do more with creative writing (which I will, of course, share on these pages), expand my photographic skills, and to continue connecting with nature on meaningful levels. There will also be opportunities, I am sure, for meeting up with friends (old and new), and for making fun new recipes in the kitchen! I still have a pile of books that were purchased months ago that tell me I really need to read them (yes, they say to me in a zombie-like voice: "Read less on computer screen...more on paper pages....", and they are actually starting to win me over!). Hubby and I need to go on a camping trip this year (we didn't camp at all last year - so sad). I want to ride my bicycle and paddle my kayak more this year. And as the days grow longer, I will look forward to the first calls of the Eastern Pheobe around March 15th, hoping they will nest on the side of our house again. And all the cycles will continue on, and I will love every minute of it.
What are YOU looking forward to in 2010?