Good news. I don’t have to make any New Year’s resolutions for 2020. I can just reuse the ones I published last year. Since public shaming may be the only way I can behave better, let’s grade how I did.
My top resolution for last year was to treat my binoculars better. I’ll give my 2019 performance a C, which is actually an improvement over the D minus I earned in 2018. I still throw them on the backseat too often. I still leave them on the dashboard of the car too often, risking heat damage on sunny days. I still don’t use a protective case or lens covers. Binoculars are fine instruments, and need to be treated with respect. Jolts can knock lenses out of alignment. Grit can scratch glass. Sun can damage coatings. Leaving a pair on a sunny windowsill is just about the worst thing you can do to binoculars.
Last year, I resolved to sit more often. I failed. Total F. Sometimes, amazing things happen when you just give the birds a chance. Sitting quietly in a pleasant spot can make you part of the background, ignorable by birds. Once, years ago, while I was sitting in an Adirondack chair reading a book, I had a black-throated green warbler perch on my shoulder in order to reach a cobweb behind me for use in building her nest. Way cool.
Bob Duchesne, Good Birding
Bob Duchesne serves as vice president of Maine Audubon’s Penobscot Valley Chapter. He developed the Maine Birding Trail, with information at mainebirdingtrail.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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