At a friend’s graduation party, I spoke to a guy who happens to be an avid snake enthusiast, and was reminded of my obsession with birds back in middle school and high school. I sort of dropped birding in college. I birded Normanskill Saturday morning sans binoculars, and I can confirm that I’ve gotten bitten by the birding bug again.
The birding bug starts with, but doesn’t end with, birds. No no no. It starts with birds and purchasing a pair of binoculars. I’m looking at the Celestron 71332 Nature DX 8×42, which is $125 on Amazon. I’ll eventually want to get a spotting scope to look at shorebirds and hawks (probably $300). I’ll eventually include mammals and reptiles/amphibians. I’ll want a way to document everything, so I’ll want a camera– probably a DSLR ($500+). Now comes the question– do I want to try taking pictures from a distance, or focus instead on macros. The answer is: both, of course– birds at a distance, and herps up close. I’ll start with “digiscoping”– mating the camera with the spotting scope to achieve high magnification, but eventually I’ll want a real telescopic lens ($$$) to get real quality pics. I’ll also want a macro lens ($$$) to capture the fine details on the snakes and salamanders I plan to find. I’ll want to photograph other things too, so I’ll start looking for flowers, fungi, and bugs as well.
I just spent an hour talking myself out of dropping $125 on the binos. What starts out with looking for birds can very easily (I know myself) lead to a zillion other expensive hobbies, which I don’t have time for. It’s almost as if my need to pursue these follow-up hobbies transcends my desire to do them. It’s very weird, but I know myself. I have no self control.
My current hobby list includes:
-riding road bikes (Spring, summer, fall. This is the major time consumer.)
-riding mountain bikes (seasonal, between road biking and running season)
-fixing bikes (constant)
-running (I sort of do this when I put the bike away in the fall/winter. It’s seasonal, so not a problem!)
-collecting shells (also seasonal)
-fossils (on occasion)
-reading and blogging (constant. Well, blogging is new.)
-cooking and baking (constant. I keep cooking logs now.)
I’m planning on adding guitar to this list at some point– maybe as a winter thing. Ugh. I have too many hobbies.