So, yes, I’ll be signing off of this blog for awhile. I’m headed to Costa Rica, where I’ll be working at the Saladero Ecolodge on the Gulfo Dulce. At this waterfront destination, accessible only by boat, my job will include leading birdwalks (!!!) as well as regular hikes through the rainforest and guiding kayak adventures around the coastal mangrove forests. We’ll also be participating in conservation efforts around the property (which is comprised of hundreds of acres of primary rainforest, meaning that it’s never been harvested for lumber or cut to graze cattle, for example.)
I’m also particularly excited that I’ll be returning to a Spanish-speaking country and reintegrating into the Latin culture. I’ve been so fortunate to visit and work in various countries in Central America several times in the past and have such a fondness for the richness of the culture itself, but also various peoples with whom I’ve been so lucky to spend time and have such respect and fondness for. I love that I’ll be returning to Costa Rica with an even fuller grasp of the language, which changes the experience completely. I’ve made such friends, worked alongside them and the only English we ever spoke was me teaching them new words while they were teaching me theirs.
I’m beyond thrilled at having “landed this job,” but also awed and humbled. I know I was up against significant and highly qualified competition, but I also know I’ve worked in the country and spent a great deal of time observing and learning the glorious diversity of birdlife there. I feel enormously fortunate and am more thrilled than I can even convey. I always say, every time I’ve left that beautifully stunning part of the world, that I’m going to come back. Well, I’m going to go back. It makes me smile to type those words.
So I just wanted to let you know how much fun it’s been to write for you all and Wild Lens while the guys, Sean Bogle and Matthew Podolsky, are off raising awareness of the plight of the vaquitas and other conservation efforts, along with their weekly podcast. I hate to leave, but it’s time to focus on my own blog as I’ve gained readership and want to be able to focus on my own directions and passions. I have all the admiration for Sean and Matthew, and look forward to seeing where they go as they spread the WildLens gospel. They’re pursuing such a noble and worthy cause of not just concern for the future of these animals and birds, but for the environment as a whole. And that “whole” certainly includes us, the human species, and all of our future generations that we desperately want to ensure will be able to appreciate the beauty of nature, as we’ve been so fortunate to have, and to appreciate among our own past and current generations.
I also want to pointedly thank my readers who’ve followed my adventures, starting with my beloved and loving family, my parents and brother, and then harkening back to my elementary school days when I first got physically lifted by one of my many birding mentors to peer into the scope to view my first American Kestrel. As well as those who’ve followed my entry into journalism as I found myself turning to writing and then became a multimedia blogger. This allowed me to combine my writing with photography and throw my thoughts and passions and emotions into the exciting yet terrifying World Wide Web for all to see and judge. Maybe those of you I’ve met along the way, through college and grad school, my dear friends that–while I never can seem to stay in one place–are always in my thoughts and heart. And, of course, the phenomenal people who I’ve worked with on my plethora of field jobs studying birds and the environment. Then there are my cherished newest friends, the puffin cam followers and commenters, who have followed the conception of FeathersAwry, a blog conceived on islands off the coast of Maine when I returned in 2016 to Seal Island for the Project Puffin summer nesting season. And, all you quiet followers, I know you’re there..
Well, all I can say is thank you. Thanks for sticking with me and believing in me and reading my work. I’ve always been a writer. All of my journals from field jobs past are locked in a big fire-proof box. But I didn’t want to just write for myself, I wanted to go further and reach out to those who might listen and perhaps even learn a thing or two from my portrayal of my experiences and how that’s helped me view the natural world and our impact on it. It’s all about education, we all are learning about this pale blue dot, learning new things every moment–new discoveries, new passions and new awareness. Being aware of our natural surroundings tells us so much about humans, how we can impact this fragile earth that, unfortunately, is retaliating with climate change (more like reacting, but it feels like deserved retaliation). The earth will prevail, but perhaps not life, unless we get our act together and act: Perhaps first off, by reducing consumption of resources in any way that works best for you, because good on you for doing even whatever bit you can. We are all drops in a bucket and a drop could be as simple as a vote or bending down to pick up a piece of plastic that might wash into our oceans and end up in our shellfish, our water, our birds, our marine mammals. Just stepping back and figuring out how you want your drop in the bucket to count, because it does. how else would we have a whole if we didn’t have the parts? You’re “a whole”, and doesn’t every part of you count? So why wouldn’t every part of the earth count? But we all gotta lend our own drops to the bucket, a bucket of more than seven billion drops.
So I’m going to keep working on mine, you work on yours, in whatever way works for you, and we’re going to change the future! For us and for our future generations as well as for the future of every species which relies on a healthy, functioning environment, species which help make it just that. Let’s make our drops as least contaminated as we can.
Thanks again to ALL of you for reading..and I’ll be in touch. Feel free to slide over to FeathersAwry anytime and check in on what’s going on in my hop-around life and please comment on or ‘Like’ a post because while I love thinking you’re out there and that you’re reading my work, knowing you’re reading my work is what helps keep me motivated, focused, and just plain happy.
Thanks, so, so much for reading 😉
@stacebird out…/drops mic
Tags: biology, bird jobs, birds, blogging, climate change, contamination, costa rica, earth, ecolodge, endangered, environment, humans, marine mammals, nature, pale blue dot, photography, plastics, population, reading, shellfish, tourism, wildlife, writing