Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I'm semi-semi-semi-famous!

Our mailbox is way too far away from our condo, so I usually pick up the mail before I go to work and stash it in my car until I come home. This morning, I was happy to open the mailbox and see the new issue of WildBird magazine! I was especially excited because I had written in to the "Lister's Forum" section for this month's issue. This months "Lister's Forum" question was "What bird sparked my interest in birding?". I had what I thought was a decent story, so I sent it in. How excited was I to find my letter printed in this month's issue!!! The phone has been ringing off the hook. I've hired an agent and the paparazzi are hot on my tail. Ok, maybe not, but it IS the first time I've been "published" in a birding magazine (the first of many I hope)!

Here's the letter in all its unedited glory:

Growing up, my dad would take the family to the Great Swamp NWR to look
for birds - hawks mostly. We would always find Red-tailed Hawks perched
in the distant trees and various other birds. I even remember seeing a
Rose-breasted Grosbeak and a Red-headed Woodpecker. Around age 11, I
discovered video games and the outdoors became a view through a window.
My TV and Nintendo replaced my trips to the Great Swamp. I forgot about
the birds.

Many years later while at college, I had an encounter that changed my
life. It was fall and I was walking back to my dorm from class. I was
walking through a small wooded area, more or less alone, when something
dropped from the sky less than ten feet away. I was startled, but
pleasantly surprised to see a large hawk standing in the dead leaves.

Our eyes met and I could see its raw power. Its wings were spread a
little and it looked around nervously. Its fiery red tail gave away its
name. I stood there for a few minutes watching this stunning Red-tailed
Hawk. I had never been so close to one. People walked by, oblivious to
what I was looking at. The bird stayed for several minutes then took off
into the trees. This encounter stuck with me for year. After college, I
picked up an old pair of binoculars and went back to the Great Swamp for
my first birding trip in years. Five-hundred species later, birding is
my passion.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Congratulations, Sweetie! You're an inspiration for everyone to go out and find a Red-tailed hawk.