Call me Dea.
I am in my early fifties and have been a bird watcher since I was seven years old. I started taking pictures of them in my late teens. Five years ago my bird watching and bird journaling dropped off when I quit my day job and started a small business and started remodeling a new house. My job and house became my hobbies. It consumed more of my life then I could have realized at the time.
When I worked for others I would bird watch at every opportunity. Driving to service calls took me out to new areas where every park, pond, swamp or green belt was a place to stop for lunch and try to add a new bird to my life list. I could use it to relax because I knew I was going to be paid. I will have to go back and check my records. I re-started a new life list in 1990 and it is around 450-460 for the lower forty-eight states and Hawaii.
I have not been to Alaska yet, I will be going this June. I have been privileged to visit forty-nine states, parts off Canada, several areas in Mexico, all three island in Grand Cayman. I was raised in Wisconsin and have lived in Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma and Panama. I have been here in the Southern Puget Sound region of Washington state for 22 years this time. I spent four years here in the late 1970's.
My starting a business at home cut deep in to seeing life through a windshield. I will never miss commuting 100+ miles a day to and from Seattle. Realizing that my income was dependent solely on me, my birding time suffered. There are dozens of birds in my yard so I did not really have to go far to see the locals but I could not see anything new.
Early in 2008 I turned back to birding and photographing nature to help deal with a personal tragedy. My business has grown enough where I still need to worry about the usual shit, but sometimes birding is more important. Or somethings are less important, either way I have found my way back to being outside. Somehow being cold and wet photographing Bald Eagles fish is better than being cold and wet.
Buy the way, I have no idea how to "BLOG" so you'll get what you get.