My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

A funny thing happened on the way to the dump

A couple of posts ago, I warned every one that I was going to start dumping a number of posts in my Photo Life List project all at once. But, as I was pounding them out yesterday after my walk, a funny thing happened. As I was approaching 50 posts in the series saved as drafts, I felt a growing sense of accomplishment first, then, a very strong sense of pride as well. Before I go on about that, I have a few photos from my daily walk during our non-stop lake effect snow event.

Red-tailed hawk following another bird

Red-tailed hawk following another bird

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Chipping sparrow

Chipping sparrow

Female Northern Cardinal

Female Northern Cardinal

This is my view while walking 6 days a week

This is my view while walking 6 days a week

Snow and more snow, it stops for about a day at a time

Snow and more snow, it stops for one day per week

Fox squirrel also looking for signs of spring

Fox squirrel also looking for signs of spring

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Anyway, back to my sense of accomplishment and pride.

That really kicked in when I saved the 50th in the series, I feel like I am making real progress, I am now over 1/7th of the way done with this project. Posting photos of 50 species of birds is really not a great accomplishment in the grand scheme of things, there are many wildlife photographers who can say that. Heck, if you went back through all my posts to this blog you’d see photos of around 100 species. However, I’m working from just a few months worth of stored photos, along with photos taken since I began this project.

But, it’s more than just numbers, as the old saying goes, if something is worthwhile doing, then it’s worth doing right.

As I was working on the drafts, I was thinking to my self that some of the people who regularly read my blog may be interested in some of the tidbits of info that I have posted in some of the completed drafts, in fact, I’m sure that they will be. Birds are fascinating creatures, and I’m learning a lot while working on this project.

I may be cheating in a way, I use several online sources for the information, then copy and paste bits of the info into my drafts to save me the time of typing it, then edit, rearrange it, then put it all together in a way that makes sense. My posts won’t be scholarly works, but I think that many people would find useful things to know about the individual species.

Then, there are my photos. I know that I am overly critical of the photos that I take. This was driven home to me when I was looking up the information on the species that went along with my photos. I’m not saying that my photos are great, but they aren’t as bad as I was telling myself. I have photos that are at least as good as many posted to the online birding guides. Maybe not for every species that I have completed so far, but overall, I think that I do OK. They deserve better than to be just dumped out there in bulk.

Yes, there are a few clinkers, more than I would like, such as in the post on Carolina wrens that I just posted. But, that’s part of birding and wildlife photography, you can’t always get very good shots.

I am under no illusions or delusions about the quality of photos that I’m inserting in these posts, there isn’t a single one that is earth shattering as to command every one’s attention.

The same holds true of the individual posts in the series, none of them are all that special.

However, the magnitude of this project is just beginning to really hit me. Even if I never finish this project, and I doubt that I will, the entire body of work that I am generating is something special when taken as a whole, if to no one else, it is to me. I may not end up with a rival to an Audubon field guide, but I’m doing this on my own.

There are few people willing to take on a challenge like the one that I am working on, I think that I should be proud of what I’m accomplishing, and that I shouldn’t be so dismissive of my own efforts all the time.

So, what this all boils down to is this. I’ve changed my mind, I’m not going to dump a dozen posts in a day or two, I’m going to continue on at one a day or so, depending on my mood, the quality of the post and other things. Even though I am anxious to get as much done as quickly as I can, what good is it if no one looks at what I’m doing?

I have also realized that getting the photos inserted into drafts is helping me clean out my computer, when a post is saved as a draft, there’s no need for me to hold on to the photos for that draft. And, there’s something to say for having several week’s worth of posts already saved as drafts. That way, I can put more time and effort into improving the series even more.

I say in the blurb in the beginning of the posts in the series that it isn’t intended to be a field guide, but in reality, that’s what I am building in the long run. I think that I am entitled to take a little pride in that.

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!


18 responses

  1. Zac Peetsma

    I enjoyed the photos from your photo walk.

    February 24, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    • Zac Peetsma

      And are you working on a big year?

      February 24, 2013 at 7:19 pm

      • Thanks for the comment, but no, just a project that I dreamed up to keep me occupied, since I neither go to movies or watch TV.

        February 24, 2013 at 7:47 pm

      • Zac Peetsma

        Ah right on! That’s the way to be.

        February 24, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      • Thank you!

        February 24, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    • Thank you!

      February 24, 2013 at 7:26 pm

  2. 1/7th of the way through. Wow, you are so determined to get this project done. When I started reading about how many drafts you have saved, I was afraid to hear that some how they had gotten zapped! You may want to download what you have on your blog so far just in case. Good luck!

    February 24, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    • Thank you! Good advise to be sure!

      February 24, 2013 at 7:27 pm

  3. I look forward to watching it unfold! 😀

    February 24, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    • Thanks, but there are a few clinkers coming up.

      February 24, 2013 at 9:39 pm

  4. Great stuff. I’m learning a lot about birds and enjoying your images.

    February 24, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    • Thank you, wait until this spring when the songbirds return here!

      February 24, 2013 at 9:50 pm

  5. Just beautiful. You are so talented.

    February 24, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    • Thank you! You are too kind.

      February 24, 2013 at 10:20 pm

  6. I can’t imagine doing 50 posts on any subject! It has taken me almost two years to reach just over 200, so I’m impressed with what you’ve accomplished already. I’m glad you’re making friends with the squirrels and other critters in the new neighborhood.

    February 25, 2013 at 6:29 am

    • Thanks Allen, I think that you’ll find some of the tidbits of information coming interesting, even if my photos aren’t the greatest.

      February 25, 2013 at 11:25 am

  7. I am amazed how far you’ve come on your list so quickly Jerry! I’m still trying to find a pen and piece of paper to get started on my lifer list, lol. You know, as time passes, you may want to post a few quickly and then when things are busy you can take a break, and then back to posting a few, whatever works for you. And we are always okay with your decision! 🙂 What you are compiling should indeed have a feeling of accomplishment for yourself, AND also for others who know you personally or have come to know you through your blog (me!). Although I am behind, I am enjoying reading on each species you’ve posted to date to further my knowledge on the same birds I see here. And I also enjoy your hikes, seeing what you see on your side of the world. Keep up your great work, it is enjoyed by many I am sure! BTW, the fox squirrel is a real cute shot!

    March 5, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    • Thanks Donna, when I tackle a project, I tackle a project! I still have at least 10 more done and ready to post, but the rate at which I’ll be able to complete them will slow down quickly once I get past the easy species.

      March 6, 2013 at 2:41 am