Welcome Page -- As the Crow Flies

Welcome to Bird Ephemera! My nom de blog is Esmerelda Crow, and this is my love letter to all things natural, especially birds. After birding for a few years, I decided I just couldn't keep it all to myself, and besides, even before I loved birds, I loved to write.

I currently live and bird in McLean County in central Illinois, but I travel every opportunity I can get. As a former Navy brat who kept traveling even after I could have called it quits, I have also lived in Rhode Island, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, California, Michigan, Hawaii, Georgia, Morocco and Japan, although I could kick myself that I was not into birding back then.

This is how it all began:

If you're wondering what bird is sitting on top of that huge nest, it's a white stork, and they were all over Morocco...nesting on rooftops, on the tops of pillars in the Roman ruins, clattering their bills and just about taking over. I loved 'em. Then I saw a woodpecker. (Turned out to be Levaillant's woodpecker, how cool is that?) And I ran into the trees searching for the European cuckoos I could hear calling in the spring. Yeah, they really do sound like cuckoo clocks. No, I never found one. But, though I did not yet know it, a birder was gestating inside of me.

After 9/11, my husband "Greenturtle" and I decided to return home to the States, but I really missed Morocco. I mean I really, REALLY missed it. I was searching for a new hobby to take my mind off it, and I found birding.

Other than that, I'm your typical humanities geek. I have a bachelor's in history, and a master's in English. I also have had a passing interest in philosophy, art history, comparative religion, mythology, the natural sciences, foreign languages, all of which might come out at unexpected moments. I guess I'm a bit of a dilettante, but what can I say? Though I love to learn, I hate to commit myself. Right now my interests besides birding are, in history, the Lewis and Clark expedition and the French explorers; in literature, ahh...hard to say, right now I'm into dark fantasy and steampunk; in life in general...yoga,  the "yarn arts" (knitting and crocheting), and healthy lifestyles. Maybe this summer will be the one I get really fit again, who knows?  I also love to write, and if I ever overcome my general laziness I might even submit something for publication.

Along for the ride is my awesome husband "Greenturtle," who puts up with all this bird obsession:

From time to time I have to remind him that "for better or for worse" includes birds, but most of the time he's a good sport. And most of the photos on this blog are his, thanks Greenturtle!

I also frequently mention (and occasionally beg guest blog posts) from Sunwiggy, my sometime birding buddy, who is also my mother. She and I started birding at the same time, although since then she has moved to Michigan's Upper Peninsula, a weird land of ice and snow.

We have gotten into some Krazy Birding Adventures together, and I try to bring it to you exactly as it was, warts, foolishness and all.

Also, my hair color is subject to change without notice! Supplying the U.P. photos and occasionally tagging along for this madness is my dad.

So what is my purpose here? Well, to entertain, to provide a forum for my random musings, but most of all, I hope I inspire you to get out and see some birds! Or whatever else in the nature rocks your world: flowers, trees, butterflies, frogs and toads. The more I look, the more I see. It's that endless sense of wonder that I want to share above anything else.

And welcome! Every time I get a new comment, or look at my stats and see how many people have visited, I feel so awed that someone else stopped in for a while. And even if this blog really isn't your thing, at least step outside for a few minutes, and look at what's around you. And then I will have achieved what I set out to accomplish.