Darlin' I hate to tell you,
but I think I'm catching a cold.
Put another chair on the fire,
Bring the bottle over here,
I feel I'm gettin' old!
These words about summarise my whole outlook, at present. No; I am not homeless and needing to burn furniture in order to remain warm, neither have I descended into the depths of alcoholic oblivion to remove the stresses of everyday life - but I am getting old. It's the energy of this track that brings back memories of my youth and the expectations that I must have had. Two kids, two marriages (only one divorce!) and three (almost four) grand-children later, I find myself wondering where has the time gone and what did I do with it?
When I actually think about it, I've done a great deal. I didn't allow David Attenborough to show me the glories of our natural world - I went out and discovered many of them for myself. I caught huge fish, have seen whales and dolphins doing their thing, watched migration over the Pyrenees and generally kept myself amused discovering various aspects of natural history that flicked the switch at that particular moment.
I have never been on a "Birding/Wildlife" organised holiday(trip) because I don't want someone else showing me stuff that I'm perfectly capable of finding myself. LGRE and "Truck van Rental" (private joke) may provide their clients with bespoke tours in order to maximise tick potential - what about the learning curve and lessons to be had? Left in the gutter in the haste to get to the next "target" species.
My sojourns into new places is at a far more leisurely pace - I make time to smell the flowers and sample the ambiance (local brew?) in order to savour the occasion and be able to look back with pleasure; not feeling that I'd missed something because I still had a box without a tick! Obviously it must be horses for courses - if you enjoy organised holidays, who am I to cast doubts on their value?
I have accompanied this post with some photos from my escapades out in Turkey. I only know the id of one of the dragonflies (Indigo Drop-wing which is the last of three photos) and have absolutely no idea as to the wasp. If ever I find myself wondering why I bother; it is easy for me to look back through 1,000's of files on my external hard-drive. I then know why I am, who I am, and realise that when the sun returns, so will my desire to get outside and have a look for myself.