Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Chick o'the Birds

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Next up is Birdchick, whose moniker might just as well be Beechick of late. I've learn so much from Sharon, starting with my first question to her: "What's a blog?" We're delighted to have her take on living life to the fullest, via a William Shatner song, in this installation of Taking Care of BOTB.--JZ

One of the coolest things about Bill Of The Birds is that the man does not meet a stranger. I met him for the first time at an ABA Convention in Tucson, AZ. I think back to how my life has been influenced since that meeting and I get an overwhelming sense of gratitude. He showed me my first zone-tailed hawk. He introduced me to my favorite beer, Fat Tire. I own not one, but two pairs of Keens shoes. (Jeez, Birdchick, get with the program. BOTB and I have eight pairs between us. I've got to turn you on to Pikolinos, girl. Look at Spring/Summer 07.) I've made the effort to go bird watching in North Dakota, all because of BOTB.

I was trying to think how to best do my part to keep his blog going in his absence.

I think I'll try one of the Song In My Head entries. The current song in my head is You'll Have Time By William Shatner. I know, I know what you're thinking--I'm off my rocker', I've had too much Scotch, I'm out of touch, but this song really rocks. I love the whole album, it's called Has Been and it has gotten me through some tough times. You can't help but sing along with Common People without feeling great--it's a cover and better than the original.

But You'll Have Time hits home with me when I'm making daily choices. Here's a You Tube user created video--it's a tad cheesy, but you can hear the lyrics:

For those who can't watch video, here are some of the lyrics.

Live Life
Live life like you're gonna die
Because you're gonna
Oh yes, I hate to be the bearer of bad news
But you're gonna die

Maybe not today or even next year
But before you know it, you'll be saying

"Is this all there was?
What was all the fuss?
Why did I bother?
Why did I waste it?
Why didn't I taste it?"
You'll have time, baby
You'll have time 'cause you're gonna die
You are gonna die
Oh yeah

On the surface the lyrics can look kind of morbid, but there's an important message there. I think back to one day years ago during the fall. In Minnesota we have this wonderful place called Hawk Ridge where thousands of hawks fly over in a day during the fall migration--even more than fly over Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania. I looked at the weather report and winds were supposed to be good, out of the Northwest. I had a day off from my then job at a wild bird store and a mountain of laundry to tackle at home. I could either drop my husband off at work and go home and deal with the laundry or drop my husband off at work and drive the two and a half hours to Duluth, MN for the day and drive home that night. I decided on Duluth. Although it wasn't a firm decision. On my way out of the northern Twin Cities, I almost turned back to go home to deal with the laundry.

The drive was easy and the view from Hawk Ridge was spectacular. I caught up with some friends and the raptor movement was pretty darned good. I was feeling better about ignoring the laundry. Around noon, all hell broke loose. A good day at Hawk Ridge is about 25,000 hawks flying over. By 1 pm, we were well past that. Before the sun set, the number of hawks that flew over was over 100,000 raptors! I was feeling FANTASTIC about ignoring the laundry. What would I have been thinking had I stayed home and done the laundry and read the birding reports of the unbelievable spectacle of the day?

At the end of the day, I want to avoid whining, "Why did I waste it?
Why didn't I taste it?"

Who knew, wisdom from William Shatner.

Thanks, Beechick! I want to know if Shatner writes this stuff. Guys, hang in there--he's got some kickin' backup singers. BC- A belly laugh and a waggle dance for you!--JZ


On September 12, 2007 at 6:34 AM Jayne said...

Nice post Birdchick. Indeed we should all live life like this... here today, but not promised tomorrow.

On September 12, 2007 at 8:08 AM Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Nice job Birdchick! Inspiration from William Shatner- who'd have thunk it?

On September 12, 2007 at 8:22 AM Rondeau Ric said...

Well his name is Bill and I know of another Bill who is a passably good entertainer.
Besides he's Canadian, eh.

On September 12, 2007 at 9:07 AM dguzman said...

Oh Sharon, I love that photo of the hawk with the stormclouds and trees in the background!

On September 12, 2007 at 10:13 AM Mary said...

And the poor snowman...

Thanks, Sharon. I had to laugh at the morbid message as I should laugh about all of the meaningless crap I worry about...instead of living LIFE.

BOTB will love this!

On September 12, 2007 at 10:23 AM birdchick said...

I'm so floored--Julie has learned something from me? When I think all those years ago to working in a bird store, reading her articles on slow days, admiring her covers and thinking: I bet she's really cool to know in real life.

I have to say, this whole blogging as an ant thing was a good experience. I'm such blog from the hip kind of gal, it took me a while to come up with a post. I don't think I'll be turning a new leaf any time soon though.

Vive Les Grasshoppers!

Hope you guys enjoy the song. I love the end when the background singers are listing all the ways you can die.

On September 12, 2007 at 10:23 AM kevbosnafu said...

Wow. Sort of 'Sinatra-like' in a way.

Sort of....

That was definitely BOTB-worthy!

On September 12, 2007 at 10:36 AM birdchick said...

I just read Julie's question--Shatner DOES write some of his own stuff. This whole album was a collaboration with Ben Folds. A few others helped out, including Aimee Mann, Henry Rollins and Nick Hornby. Check out the Wiki entry for Has Been.

If you only know Shatner from Golden Throats or Transformed Man, ignore those and give Has Been a go. It's a very heartfelt album. He even has one track on there about his third wife's suicide.

On September 12, 2007 at 11:38 AM Dea said...

Are all Shatner songs spoken word?

Speaking of living life to the fullest, I wanted to ask Bill, or his blog caretakers, a birding question. I'm in SE Asia for 4 months, based out of Bangkok. I've heard the birding here can be to die for (heheh). And I know you travel frequently with your birding. Can you recommend a guide agency with whom I can book a field trip? I'd rather not walk off into the jungle on my own.

Great post, BC.

On September 13, 2007 at 8:28 AM smilnsigh said...

Mary sent me over, and I love this entry. Soooo truuuuuue!!!


On September 15, 2007 at 12:55 PM Linda F. said...

Birdchick, you rock! (As does Mr. Shatner!) And now I have another blog to read!