Friday, 14 September 2012


When it comes to my natural history studies I cannot help but plan things which will have a start date of January 1st. Even if I come up with an idea for a project in mid-March, my tidy mind (OCD?) will want to wait until the beginning of the following year to implement it. I start to visualise a neatly produced report that encapsulates a set of observations made over a 12 month period (or 24, 36, 48 - neat and tidy, you see). Why not be able to initiate such things on September 14th? Or July 3rd? Or December 31st for that matter. I used to stop birding between Christmas and the New Year because I'd grown fed-up with the current years 'campaign' and restless to start the next one. Any time birding in this dead period was seen as wasteful, as if doing so was 'using up' energy. Yes I know, daft.

I have a couple of ideas for new projects. Nothing grand, but things that have got me excited. My track record means that I will probably start one (or all) of them on January 1st and then loose momentum by late February, possibly abandoning them all before the spring is over. Maybe I could start them NOW, as I type this, not constrained by any arbitary start dates - this in turn might not suggest to me an end date to fixate upon (normally December 31st).

Alternatively I could get a life...


  1. I like the idea of the spring and autumn equinoxes as significant dates in the natural history year, Steve, for starting new things. It's a bit pagan but it seems like they're more rooted in the natural cycle of things. Which means that I've got 8 days to come up with a new project that'll carry me through the dark days of winter!

  2. The pagan in me likes this take on the recording cycle Phil - I might have to adopt it...

  3. I am in the same way, things have to start at the beginning of a year. This is a hindrance as I clearly need to start a diet right NOW!