Sunday, August 17, 2008

Things Middle Aged People Like #01: Bird Watching

This is the first in a series, Things Middle Aged People Like. Every so often, I find myself doing something where everyone else around me is my pretty much in my age group.

This morning I went on my first Friends of Poquessing Watershed Bird Walk, at Benjamin Rush State Park, which is at the very northern end of Northeast Philadelphia. It was a little bit of a drive, but traffic was light at 8:00am on a Sunday. I had the top down on the car, it was a lovely.

Sunday mornings tend to be prime time for noticing What Middle Aged People Like. I guess young people are sleeping in (hopefully having lived it up the night before). I remember those days, but now I'm lucky to sleep past 7am.

As readers may recall, I got into bird watching about 3 years ago when I turned 40. I bought a couple of books and have been pretty good at i.d.'ing various birds. Or so I think. I wanted to meet some more experienced people to make sure I wasn't kidding myself too much and to learn things I didn't manage to self-teach myself.

I hd been meaning to join the bird walk for over a year now. Finally I made it. I was one of 5 or 6 middle aged folks, plus one guy I'd classify as "old".* As usual with these things, everyone was very pleasant. It was a gorgeous August day. Brilliantly sunny, not that hot with a nice breeze. We walked for about 90 minutes, spotting birds and insects and a lot of butterflies.

I learned a little bit, met nice people, and was outside on a lovely day. While not exciting, all in all extremely pleasant. Being middle aged, I have to say I liked it very much. Excitement is for young people for who, not having been there and done that - again and again, exciting things are exciting.

So there you have it. If you are young, you know what you have to look forward to and/or dread. If you are middle aged (or old), it is another thing you might want to do. Life should be much more than just vegging on the sofa or sitting in front of a computer screen.

* When I'm old, I expect I won't mind being called old; I'm not bristling at being middle-aged.