Author Poppy Z. Brite is about the same age as me and seems to be tracking well with my progression through life. On her weblog she sometimes talks about her conversion to a birdwatcher. She’s waaaay more into it than I am, as she’s willing to traipse around marshes with binoculars. I’m much more passive, but I too have developed a fascination with them as I grow older.
When I first telecommuted, I got a XMas present of a bird feeder, which gave me something interesting to watch outside my window as I worked. In practice, it didn’t end up where I could see it except from the bedroom but I was fascinated anyway. That one got torn up and did not make the trip from Evanston to here, but this year my wife got me (us, really) a badass new one, a “squirrel proof” serious joker. The perch the birds land on has a motor, and a weight sensitive switch. If something the weight of a squirrel is put on it, it spins like a mother and sends them ass over tea kettle. It must be working, because it’s been up for four weeks and I have yet to ever see a squirrel on it. Squirrels tore up the previous ones as well as scared off most of the birds, so I’m pleased with this.
It hangs in this area off the lanai, where it is near a tree and a bush, and viewable from the living room (but not from my office, again.) I’ve found that I can really get in to just sitting and watching. I even checked out birding books from the library, so I can begin to identify what I am looking at. I get excited when we get cardinals, and in the last few days we’ve had a woodpecker and mourning doves arrive. When I was 19, I doubt I would have believed the day would come when I’d be excited by a bird flying into my yard, but that day is here. Truth can indeed be stranger than fiction.