Monthly Archives: May 2003

Wildcat Mountain camping trip

Yesterday I returned home from a camping trip to Wildcat Mountain State Park. Because I was so involved with moving to my condo last fall, I haven’t been camping since last August. It was great to finally spend some time in out in nature recharging my batteries.

Wildcat Mountain State Park

I ended up doing a lot of hiking. Saw quite a few animals (including deer, wild turkeys, hawks and a lot of migrating songbirds) and some pretty nice scenic vistas.

One interesting thing I discovered is there are a lot of Amish people living in the area surrounding the park. After I saw a number of their horse and buggies driving along the rural highway, I really started to think about modern life. Here I am going to the country to recharge my batteries and get away from it all, while they’re living the simple life there all the time. Oh, I’m sure the Amish have their difficult and stressful times, but I doubt any of them are complaining about not having enough time for things.

Time may change me

Lately I’ve been very aware of the passage of time — both in small and large amounts. In this age of modern conveniences, why do we often run out of time? Not enough time to get the house chores done before bedtime, not enough time to write a blog entry (wink), not enough time to finish reading that magazine before next month’s issue arrives…

As I get older, time seems to move much faster for me than it did when I was younger. Is your perception of the passage of time inversely related to the amount of memories in your brain? I remember summers when I was a kid that seemed to go on forever. Now the seasons (summer especially) seem to just fly by.

As David Bowie once sang, “Time may change me, but I can’t change time.”

Those obnoxious starlings

By now you’ve probably figured out that I enjoy nature and the outdoors. Because of that I also like having a couple of bird feeders on my deck and watching them. About a month ago I was happy that goldfinches (one of my favorite birds) discovered my feeders and were regularly coming over to have snacks. Recently I’ve been getting some new visitors. Starlings have figured out how to perch themselves on the finch feeders (which are designed to feed the smaller birds) so they can eat. Being the bigger and more aggressive bird, the starlings chase all of the other birds away and end up hogging all of the food. For those of you that don’t know, starlings are an invasive species from Europe. Mother Nature never intended for them to be in North America.

This morning I found about ten starlings all perched on my deck rail, waiting for their turn to eat all of the finches’ food. “This means war,” I thought to myself. Tomorrow I’m planning a trip to the garden center to purchase a starling proof bird feeder. Stay tuned…

Update: After talking with a very helpful person at Wild Birds Unlimited (a great place to buy bird stuff by the way), I changed the feed I was putting out to safflower seeds, which the starlings don’t like. So far it seems to be doing the trick. Keep your fingers crossed.