Endings and beginnings

The last few months have seen a lot of change. Endings and beginnings. We left Victoria and moved to Corvallis, Oregon. November was our last month in Canada. I’m still settling in here, a process that always takes longer than I anticipate. Two members of my extended family passed away and in the grey darkness of winter, it can be hard to see the light or the reason why some things happen.

“All endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.”  – The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom

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Ducks in a row

But now that the solstice is past and the days are getting longer, we have set up many of the basics here so we can focus on getting to know a new place. New plants and wildlife, new birds, new places to go. Moving is always exciting, but always involves challenges I often seem to underestimate until I’m in the thick of it.

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Amber, newly an Americat, has settled in happily in her new home.

Its a bit strange for me to move back to the United States again. I haven’t lived in this country since May 2011. In seven and a half years, a lot has happened. Both to this place and to me. When I left, I admit I never really wanted to come back, but sometimes opportunities come up and you go with them. Its all an opportunity for a learning experience anyway.

There’s a lot that I miss about Victoria. Starting my journey into bird-watching there made me feel more connected to the land and nature around me than I’ve ever felt before. But its not such a different environment here and I see many familiar birds that make me feel at home again.

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While my new backyard isn’t anywhere as beautiful as the last one I was blessed with, this White-Crowned Sparrow was the first bird I saw out my window and it brought a smile to my face.

Other familiar birds like Belted Kingfisher, Great Blue Herons and Song Sparrows are kind of comforting while newer birds like the Black-capped Chickadee are exciting to get to know. There are many more new birds to meet just around the corner if I look. And just like bird-watching helped me while grieving my first cat’s death, I know it will help me feel at home in a new place if I just go out and look and listen. To remember that to feel a connection to another living thing is an important feeling that can bring joy to a small moment.

 

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I saw my first ever American Kestrel and I think they might be one of my new favourites!

American Dipper singing at Nimpkish Lake

A few months ago I went on a trip to the North Island, Vancouver Island and spent a night camping at Nimpkish Lake. That evening, while walking along the lakeside, I spotted an American Dipper strutting its stuff on a fallen tree out in the water. American Dippers are song birds, and the only aquatic ones in North America. They typically live and hunt near fast-moving rivers with rocky bottoms in the western U.S. and Canada; this is the first one I’ve seen at a lake. Listen to this one’s song and have fun watching him in my video below:

 

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Changes in the air with a side of wind gusts

While Amber is enjoying her giant new cat tree that is taller than I am (providing a good escape from my affection), other new changes are afoot here, too!

I have exciting news if you haven’t noticed yet. I took a leap and got my own domain name. (My first one!) That’s right – this is now fossilsandfauna.com! The wordpress site will still link you to the right page, though, so need to update any links.

There are some new pages to check out, too. There’s a page on birding with my life list and backyard bird list with photos! With my backyard feeder, I am watching backyard birdies even more now. For you cat lovers, I added a page about my kitties.

I was planning a bike ride and birding today, but with a wind warning out and a lot of gusts, I decided to stay home. Then I started a tumblr. If you are there, feel free to add me or check it out. I’m excited for a place to share some quick and shorter content as I prefer blog posts with more than just pictures.

This is all a constant work in progress, so we will see how it evolves over time. I hope you are all well this spring! Since its been a year here, I’m planning a little about me blog post. If you want to know anything, let me know here!