Sunday, February 27, 2011

Making Connections

One of our Red headed Woodpeckers.

"The Earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the Earth. Man did not weave the web of life ~ he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself"   
 inspired by Chief Seattle 1850"s

February is National Wild Bird Feeding Month and the GBBC (Great Backyard Bird Count). The GBBC is a joint project of Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon Society where Citizen Scientists from across the Nation can participate by conducting a watch/count for a specific time frame and reporting the highest numbers of bird species observed in that time. Data is then submitted to the Cornell Lab database for use in comparison studies of bird populations over time. This year the GBBC was from Fri. Feb.18-Mon. Feb, 21. The connections I experience with Nature during the GBBC are much deeper than the more casual watching that I do year round in our backyard habitat, perhaps because of the intensity of the watching necessary for this project. The binoculars are up the entire watch time and you tend to "look" in more places/ spaces than usual, so as to not miss a thing. Consequently you observe SO much more. We participated last year as well and so we now have begun our own "database". We enjoyed our usual cast of characters, including our resident species and our Winter visitors. The highlights for this year included on Day 1 - A Great Blue Heron "fly over"; Day 3 - A Sharp-shinned Hawk hanging around for about 20 minutes ( when there was not a sighting or peep from any of our birds !!) and Day 4 - the sighting of a new species for us of a Yellow-rumped Myrtle Warbler.
Making connections means to unite, or "be in close relation with" and for me, my desire to Walk with Nature often and in many ways gives me the opportunity to respect the web.