One of the legacies from my mother is my interest in birds. From the Sixties through the Eighties she kept a sequence of canaries, parakeets, and finches in cages, and that led to finding and watching wild birds. This turned into a hobby the whole family took part in, though Mom and I were more enthusiastic and stuck with it a lot longer than my sister and Dad. Eventually I was fortunate enough to go on road trips and watch birds in places Mom never got to. My “life list” stands at 198 species, I think (possibly 200, but probably not) and Mom finished at around 170 species.
Mom and I tried to take photos of birds for years, too. I have more good photos, but Mom got the best one between us, the one above of a cedar waxwing about to feed its baby a berry. Mom shot it from the window overlooking a bush near our house in Chesterfield Township, sometime in the early 1980s. (Flickr made me commit to 1982 because it can’t handle vagueness.) I was so impressed with the photo, I surreptitiously found the negative and took it to have an 8×10 print made, then framed it with an oval mat. It hung on her wall for years, and I got it back when we had to clean out her apartment last month.
I was pretty ardent about birding for a long time, but in the last few years I haven’t put in much effort, just a lot of “gee, I should”s. I’m very nostalgic for the times Mom and I spent out looking at birds. Maybe that’ll finally get me to go outside and dig a few out of the trees (so to speak).