I write about the outdoors, birds and bees, flowers and trees, anything outdoors that takes my interest. I write about birds often, of course, probably more than any other subject and for my interest in birds they call me a birdman. I’ve written about many furry animals, mammals, squirrels, raccoon, opossum, fox, deer. I’ve written about insects, cicada, firefly, mosquito, cricket and grasshopper, about frogs and toads, snakes, trees and wildflowers.
I’ve written about the weather, fair weather and foul, summer and winter, spring and fall. I’ve written about storms, a tornado which damaged our house and blew our garage away when I was a boy, hurricanes and typhoons which I experienced on ships at sea when I was in the Navy.
I was an early believer in global warming. The weather has definitely gotten warmer during my lifetime and it’s continuing to get warmer. Winter particularly isn’t as cold as it used to be and there isn’t as much snow as there was many years ago, when I was a boy.
I write about the outdoors, an article one a week hat I mail to newspapers. When I decided I wanted to write I asked the editor of the local newspaper, who was a friend, for advice. He read a few articles I’d written, then told me, “You have a way with words, but you need to work on it. If you want I’ll edit and make suggestions, If, (isn’t there always an if when somebody offers advice?) if you write an article once a week. I’ll publish your articles in my paper and I’ll pay you a fee because if you’re being paid you’ll feel obligated.” His fee, by the way, was $5.00 per week. After offering his fee he suggested Outdoor Notes as a title for my articles. “Your subject,” he said, will be all odors, and Outdoor Notes covers all outdoors.”
I’m an old man now. I wear glasses and hearing aides. I walk with a cane. But I do get out and walk in the outdoors, though I stop often to rest. But I look for birds when I’m out, just as I did when I was a boy.
It’s been many years since I took my friends’s advice and started writing a weekly article for $5.00. My fee has gone up, but only to $8.00 per week. Several papers now publish my articles and they pay also pay $8.00 per week, not $5.00.
While I write just one article per week I’m reading more, to learn more about the subjects I choose for my articles and to learn answers to questions from readers. That’s more pay, a form of pay, recognition.
I asked an uncle, when he was ninety-six years old if he thought he’d live to be a hundred. Without hesitation he stuck a fist in the air and said “Of course.” Then he added, “and you’re going to live to be older than I will.”
I won’t tell the reason he said I’d live to be older than he would. But I will tell that he did live to be a hundred, one hundred and two, actually. That give me ten more years of writing Outdoor Notes, or getting out, taking slow walks and bird watching.