Monday, February 2, 2009
It's a sign of winter when kloggers - the word I coined for kayak bloggers - start looking for topics to write about that have little to do with paddling. Tagging our friends is one such topic. While at first it may appear frivolous, it can be another way to get to know our fellow kloggers. Today's photo is the result of a tag sent to me by Silbs in Wisconsin. I was asked to publish the fourth picture in the fourth folder in my photo collection. It turned out to be this white crowned sparrow who has chosen to over-winter in a bush on the front lawn. This species more commonly migrates out of our area in the winter.
We've been keeping records of bird sightings ever since we first moved to this area in 1977. It has proven to be interesting pastime to watch the various species come and go through the seasons and over the years. It has also given me a wealth of data to play with.
I love working with databases and so have built various data models to track the birds over the years. The data lends itself nicely to various manipulations and insights which have provided me with hours of intellectual play. The skills I developed spilled over to my classroom when I was a teacher. I was able to track my students' progress much more carefully than ever before and found I could catch problems often before even the students themselves were aware they were in difficulty. Fixing problems early, long before they'd fallen too far behind and become discouraged, turned out to be the key in helping students with problems. Now that I'm retired, I still love playing with databases so continue to watch the birds.