During the Fall of 2009, I had an excellent taste of what retirement will be like. Who knew it would be so wonderful! Boredom is out of the question! I have so many interests that I can't fit them all in one day, one week or one month. My biggest challenge is going to be finding a balance in my hobbies.
For years I have been interested in photography and have dabbled throughout my life, off and on. Photography is a hobby that requires a lot of time. It takes more than a little luck to be in the right place at the right time with the right subject matter, the right angle and the right weather. Then, of course, there are all of the fine settings that cameras offer. For me, it it trial and error. The challenge has really captured my interest. My best shots are landscapes, but I am particularly interested in blending a new fascination with birdwatching with photography. I have more blurred images than anyone can imagine. Yet, the one or two good shots that I do get are enough to motivate me to keep trying. Trust me, bird photography takes a lot of practice. So does birdwatching for that matter.
I have five reference books to help me to identify the birds I see. Nevertheless, not all birds look the same all year and may not look exactly like the pictures in the books. I have met a few people who are avid birdwatchers in the St. John's area. They are extremely knowledgeable and are always willing to help a new "birder" learn the ropes. When I see their enthusiasm, I feel like I have found a hobby that will continue to excite.
Having had a relatively successful career and being an authority on some subjects, it is almost like entering kindergarten again. I embark on my adventures of birding and photography with the same excitement and vigor linked to most new beginnings.
There are many great benefits of these activities. My mind has to stay sharp to learn all the technical aspects of photography and to develop an eye for the different birds and their behavior. My body thanks me for getting out and walking. After all, birding from the kitchen window can get old fast.
I have always been a "lister." Lists to do this and that, usually chores and things that have to be done. Now, I am generating a "Life List" of birds that I see and trying to make a pictoral record. Bird lists are much more fun than grocery lists!
Launching this blog is a way for me to organize my thoughts, time and my adventures in a way that is reasonable and enjoyable. In the days to come, I plan to upload many pictures to chronicle my progress of my photography and to create a record of my life of retirement.
Bird photography has a number of side effects - good side effects. It is amazing how much shorter this winter seemed because I got up and outdoors on a daily basis. I built my resistance to the cold weather of Newfoundland and quieted my dread of the short winter days. Now, despite the flashes of snow and cold spells, there are signs of spring in the air, and I am wondering where winter went.
I have returned to work for a short time, but not an hour goes by that I don't long to be outdoors, exploring all that it has to offer. During this time, I will plan for the future and the freedom that retirement brings.
Today, I uploaded my first two pictures. Hope you enjoy!