Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Guilty Pleasures

Birding without too much stuff
I dislike being weighed down by a telescope and tripod, a rucksack full of camera equipment and a bag full of books. To me, the chance to wander in the field with just a pair of bins is freedom. All the other stuff is an inconvenience. Of course, there are times when a scope is needed to clinch an identification or to appreciate more fully what's before you. I've been caught out more than once without the extra magnification, but - I'm in my element when it's t-shirt, shorts, binoculars and a compact camera tucked in a pocket. Birding for pleasure and leisure, not an assault course.

Musical chairs.
To admit to certain musical tastes can be as embarrasing as admitting to being a bad driver, crap in bed or even a poor birder! So it is with much trepidation that I must confess a fondness for ELO, Supertramp and Wings (the latter who Alan Partridge considered to be the band that The Beatles could have become had they not broken up too early). You need to work hard to cultivate a reputation as a serious student of music, so to open up and 'come out' musically risks the undoing of all earlier efforts.

Leaving well alone
It's liberating not trying to put a name to everything. With plants I tend to leave grasses, sedges and rushes alone, but - between you and me - I also go through phases of 'not being arsed' with such groupings as willowherbs, crucifers and ferns. I can do them, but sometimes I don't want to key them out or look through a lens, so do you know what I do? I walk on by...

A seat with a view
A good walk spoiled is one without carefully selected seating to admire a view. Many has been the time when I've got to the top of a steep climb and cheered at the site of a bench. A good excuse to sit down, make notes, have a sandwich, a cup of coffee - or to get my breath back. I'm not getting any younger you know.

Not going out at all
There was a time that if I had downtime then it needed to be spent out in the field. I can now not do so without feeling any guilt at all. I don't even need an excuse, but recently my reasons for neglecting the wildlife has included watching the British Lions Test, the Tour de France, gardening, going for a drink and having a lie-in. Maybe I need to reassess the subject matter of this blog.

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