Wednesday, September 23, 2015

First Day of Autumn

This has been the neverending summer. The sweltering heat doesn't seem to deter the birds at my feeders, but I've been unable to see them because my blinds are shut tight to keep out the glaring sun. (We're talking triple digits into the middle of September here!) We keep filling up the feeders and they keep turning up empty a few days later, so I know someone is getting some enjoyment out of them!

Boy, am I looking forward to some cloudy (and hopefully rainy!) days this fall so that I can open up and see what's been making all that noise out there this summer.

Rain, rain, please come this way!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Biggest Year

I'm so inspired by #NoahsBigYear! It makes me want to write a sequel to Wild Ice! My readers are primarily hockey fans, but when I feel the need to write another bird-themed book, I just might have to find a way to tie the two together again.

If you haven't already heard, Noah Strycker from Oregon (*looks North and waves hello*) already broke the record and he still has three months left to go in his big year!

How amazing it must be to travel around the world in search of new and different bird species. I've never been out of the country (yes, Canada, I'm comin' for you one day), so I can only imagine what Noah's adventure must be like. The furthest I've ever traveled to see birds was a little over 160 miles to Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

What's the furthest you've ever traveled for birds?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Love is in the air...

These two Doves have been hanging around my backyard for weeks.

When they first showed up, he stood guard while she pecked around and had her fill of the fallen seed from the feeders. It's the cutest thing to watch how protective he is of her :)

And then the other day I caught them smooching!

Carry on, you two love birds, carry on.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Birding Memoir

Welcome to Wings and Daydreams!

I know the subject of birds/birdwatching/birding doesn't appeal to all of my romance readers--to each his/her own--but these amazing winged creatures sure bring me a whole heck of a lot of joy. Because of that, I wanted to have a place where I can post as many bird photos as I want without the fear of alienating anyone on my author blog. So, I had an "Aha!" moment and decided to create a specific blog where I could write and rave about birds as often as I like.

During the process of setting up the new blog, I came across something I've had sitting on my bookshelf for over a decade. When I first became interested in birding, I started a journal to chronicle my discoveries. I was diligent in writing down each new (and familiar) bird that came across my path and it's been  wonderful to go back and read those entries. I didn't always know what was on the other end of my new binoculars, and the common theme seems to be how difficult I found it to identify different species. But it didn't matter that I had no idea what I was doing (and sometimes no idea what I was seeing!). What mattered was that I was having a blast spotting new creatures in my world and eager to learn more about the wildlife around me.

I'd like to say I've come a long way in my birdwatching since 2002, but I still have to look things up in my field guide (although I have upgraded to an app!) and I still get a kick out of seeing a plain old brown sparrow in my backyard. I never know what's going to fly in and grace my feeders with their presence next and that's what I love most about it.

In the Blog Archive on the right column of the blog, you'll notice over a dozen posts from 2002-2003. These posts are taken directly from that journal I used to keep. My only regret is that I didn't continue jotting down my observations throughout the years. When you live a life so focused on the present and living life in the moment (and occasionally worrying about where you're steering the future), it's nice to take a look back once in a while and remember where you started.

My next project will be to go back through my old photo albums and see if I can wrangle up the photos I mentioned in those old journal entries. I can't believe we used to have to wait days, sometimes even weeks to get our photos after having the film developed! Thanks to modern technology, I can now instantly upload all the beautiful photos I'm so proud to have shot. One of those photos (of a red-tailed hawk) was even posted on Facebook by the Sacramento Wildlife National Refuge! (I'll get more into that a little later :)

I hope you enjoy reading about my birding journey and I look forward to new discoveries in the future. Whether they are exotic birds I've never even heard of before and have to look up in my trusty field guide, or plain old brown sparrows, I'll be delighted just the same.

Happy Birding!
Rachelle Vaughn