Posted by & filed under My Nature Journal.

Last Saturday, January 4, was the 3rd CBC that I have celebrated my retirement as compiler.  I love retirement.  I get all of the fun and none of the worry!

Because I’ve been helping with the CBC from the early 1980s, and was compiler from 1994-2010, this time of year has always been special for me.  It’s a chance to get away from the craziness of Christmas shopping and focus on the natural world of birds!

Conditions were tough going into the Count.

We are in the midst of a serious drought.  For the second year in a row, and even worse than last winter, the stubborn Pacific High has blocked any storms and the jet stream remains far to the north.

The foothills lie brown and pockmarked with gopher holes.  The annual grasses are dormant, waiting for that first winter rain.  I don’t ever recall a year when there were no blooming Eucalyptus trees to attract orioles, tanagers or warblers.  But this is what happened.

For awhile it seemed as though it would be the worst winter bird census we’d ever had. Read more »

Posted by & filed under My Nature Journal.

In this space, I plan to record some of my thoughts, observations, and explorations in the natural world of the Santa Barbara region.

These entries may reflect current activities or they may have been written in the past.  In over thirty years of keeping a nature journal, I have many wonderful adventures to share with you.

From time to time, I may include a photograph from A NATURALIST’S GUIDE TO THE SANTA BARBARA REGION.  Or, I may simply include a bird list or directions to a newly discovered site.

I think the point of this space is to share with you my personal landscape.  In 1908, John Burroughs wrote, “One’s own landscape comes in time to be a sort of outlying part of himself; he has sowed himself broadcast upon it, and it reflects his own moods and feelings.”

Each of us has a place in the natural world that speaks to us.  More than a collection of mountains and trees, wind and sky, birds and beasts.  It is a personal landscape, imbued with memories and experiences.  Beyond the science, outside the data, lies a sense of belonging that ties one forever to the natural world of a particular place.

Mine is the Santa Barbara region. I’d like to share it with you.