Sunday, January 15, 2017

No Car No Phone No Problem

 I found myself without a car this weekend due to some unexpected repairs. I could have rented a car or have my wife cart me around but I decided to get back to basics instead. I walked, used a somewhat limited bus system, and rode my bike to get around. I even shut my cell phone off. While waiting at the bus stop I heard interesting stories about life on the streets. One of the passengers told me about how he left everything behind to work on a pipeline in North Dakota for 6 months. Everything he needed was provided by the company including food, housing and a great paycheck. He saw all kinds of wildlife and said that it was a spiritual experience for him. 
When riding around on a bike you see things that you don't notice when you're in a car. I found this $5 bill on the ground when I was riding my bike through a ball field. 

It seems that we've become so dependent on cars, phones, and the Internet that many people feel lost without them. My father's generation talked about having to walk uphill in the snow both ways to get to school. I grew up without cable or participation trophies and our entertainment was playing outside. I wonder if the current generation wil be able to adapt to unexpected adversity? 
 Birding by bike is not something I do often but it has some advantages. I felt as though I had more birding time because every minute counted. When you're driving from one spot to another you miss a lot.  Being limited to a bike route is a good thing. You tend to stay more focused on your surroundings which helps to heighten your senses. Dark-eyed junco was the most abundant bird species of the day. I saw at least 100 of them.
 I followed the Connecticut River along an industrial road which led me across the railroad tracks and past brownstone quarries, ball fields and boat yards. I saw many Song Sparrows, 4 Bald Eagles and about 30 other species during my ride. 
 It was a nice quiet ride on a sunny day with almost no traffic or people to be found. The few neighbors I did pass by were friendly enough although this one seemed green with envy! 


Kay G. said...

Oh, that was the $5.00 bill I lost! You can mail it to me! HA!
Love your bird photos.

Nadezda said...

How useful is riding by bike, Larry. One can find some money. Lovely sparrows, here they are cold and I feed the birds in my garden.

Michelle said...

I think being without devices calms the mind. I have so many students now who want/need instant gratification, just like an electronic device gives them. I also find there is not as much imagination with our young children.

Nan said...

"No phone, no pool, no pets. I ain't got no cigarettes." My phone is for texting and photos only. I've not seen a dark eyed junco that looks so brown. The ones here are slate gray.