Last week Jon Young came and spent a couple of days with our program. It was inspirational, but a lot to process all at once.
While he was there we went out to our bird sit spots for awhile and were supposed to come back with a question. I ended up having a lot of fun looking around my place and noticing a lot of things that I hadn't seen before.
In the past I haven't usually had much fun at my sit spot. Mostly I would try and concentrate more on what I was "supposed" to do, or start thinking about various internal distractions. After my experience above I decided to try and rekindle a sense of fun while at my spot. Instead of just going and doing what I was supposed to I went and paid attention to what caught my fancy. I explored around and watched birds, I ended up finding about five plants that I hadn't realized were in my area before (despite having previously cataloged all the ones that I was aware of). I still did what I had been focusing on in the past, but incorporated it into my fun.
One thing that Jon Young mentioned was the routine "owl entering the forest." Basically it entails taking a lot of care to avoid disturbing birds even before you start to leave your house for your sit spot. It takes a lot more time to get to my spot that way, so it's not something I'm likely to do everyday, but apparently the more you do it the less the birds will react to you even when you don't do it. I did it on Sunday and found it to be quite enjoyable. I noticed much more bird language than I had on probably any other day in my life. I think that's a mix of the exercise and my increasing awareness of birds in general. It makes me happy to realize how much more I recognize of birds now than I did at the beginning of the program. I still feel like I'm a beginner, but now I can distinguish several additional birds by their calls as well as being more aware of whether they are alarming.
Tomorrow we are going on to camp overnight in group shelters.
(BD: 17, HD: 7)