Photo by Taneli Lahtinen on Unsplash

My mom grew up on a farm. Here, she learned to identify flowers (thank you boy scout leader Grandpa!), bird songs, and many other interesting natural things. Both of my parents were outdoors people and we often went camping, even survival camping when I was very young.

Since becoming an adult, I’ve lost this knowledge of what song belongs to which bird, I’ve forgotten what specific wildflowers look like, and I can’t identify a lot of trees that I once could.

As spring has sprung and the air quality has improved – thanks to fewer cars driving – more wildlife than ever is flourishing in our little neighborhood. So, I’m taking up an old love and finding myself a hobby I’m not able to monetize (the freelancer’s life, right?). I’m learning to identify birds and their songs again.

It’s free, it’s easy, and it’s fun. It gets me outside and listening, putting down my phone on long walks through the quieter streets. Thus far, I’ve seen a Great Blue heron, a beaver, a Downy woodpecker, a robin, cardinals, some Carolina wrens, Red Wing blackbirds, Chipping sparrows, and Grasshopper sparrows, and I just heard this guy outside my window.

And that’s just since Monday.