The wonders of the natural world are my great obsession in life: From the plants and trees that make terrestrial life possible, to the fungi and soil organisms that support them; from the rarely seen jewels that are the amphibians, to their hard-edged and inscrutable cousins, the reptiles, and the uncountable profusion of invertebrate life. I can happily spend hours observing the curious aquatic lives of fish, or wait for nightfall for a glimpse of some elusive mammal as it emerges from it's day-time den. But above all else, it is the birds, with their mastery of flight, their astonishing colours, their expressiveness and their busy, quirky characters that bring me the most joy.
There are few activities I enjoy more than exploring natural places and discovering hidden gems that those who have not the eyes to see, nor the ears to hear would so often overlook: The tiny wildflowers, every bit as gaudy and intricate as their larger relatives, only in miniature; the tracks and signs that speak of yet greater diversity hidden from view; the songs of frogs and birds singing full-throated for none but themselves; and amongst it all, the presence or absence of humans, humblingly inconsequential.
To admire the beauty of the natural world, to consider the complex relationships between all it's inhabitants, and best of all, to share these experiences with other enthusiasts, these are the things that enervate me.
At times, when the mood strikes me, I sometimes attempt to celebrate my passions through the visual arts. I have tried my hand at Oils and Watercolours, but my preferred medium is Dry Pastels. Working from photographs, I like to draw birds mostly, though admittedly I've not picked up a pastel in quite some time due to the torrid love-affair I'm currently engaged in - Photography. Beginning initially as a way to obtain original source material for my drawings, it has of since taken over as my major outlet for capturing the beauty I find in the world.
I am an ardent reader. For entertainment, I will often turn to the escapism and imagination of Science Fiction and Fantasy, or to my growing collection of titles by Gerald Durrell. At other times it is edification I seek, and so I turn to non-fiction titles on a wide range of subjects including, but not limited to, Natural History, Botany and Biology as well as more practical tomes on gardening and aviculture or field guides for native plants, animals and birds. I'm also cultivating a budding interest in Guerilla Gardening.
I have a wicked sense of humor and love a good pun. This, it turns out, is an extraordinarily difficult thing to demonstrate in a self-summary, without coming across as incredibly try-hard. I take my hat off to those who have managed it.
For those who put stock in such things, according to the Long Scientific Personality Test, my personality type is ISTJ.
- Natural History trivia.
- Problem solving.
- Over-using commas... and semi-colons ... and ellipses.
I have a reasonably extensive book collection which currently contains:
- a fair selection of good Sci-Fi and Fantasy books. Authors include; Kim Stanley Robinson, Terry Goodkind, Peter F, Hamilton, Ian Irvine, Karen Miller, Tad Williams, and others.
- My Gerarld Durrell collection - The Drunken Forest, The Bafut Beagles, A Zoo in my Luggage, etc.
- Various tomes on indigenous plants, gardening, botany and biology.
- Avicultural Literature
- My collection of bird field guides from around the world.
- A variety of periodicals - mostly aviculture, ornithology and geographica.
- And many, many more.
I don't really have any favorites. I enjoy all movies more or less equally, but can't claim any I've seen to have been life-changing or in any way particularly outstanding. Most of my epiphanies have come from books or cool science-y TV shows. I'd be just as happy watching a wildlife documentary like The Private Life of Plants, Wild China or Planet Earth as any movie. Possibly more so.
I'm quite the sci-fi nerd. I love Firefly, Babylon 5, Dr Who (new), Red Dwarf, Eureka, Dollhouse and others that are too geeky to share with complete strangers. Also assorted non sci-fi stuff like Good News Week, Scrapyard Challenge/Junkyard Wars, NCIS, Time Team, and so on.
The new Last Chance to See series with Steven Fry and Mark Carwardine is BRILLIANT.
I do like a bit of PC gaming, especially the classic '4X' titles, RPG's and some FPS. Of late, i have found little time for gaming however, so have turned to YouTube 'Let's Play..." content for my gaming fix while I carry on with the other things i have to do. This has become my main source of entertainment of late.
I especially love Blues and Jazz and lots else besides. Particular favorites, in no particular order, are B.B. King, James Brown, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, The Dave Matthews Band, early Aerosmith, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Harry Connick Junior, The Cat Empire, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Wilson Pickett, and so on, ad infinitum.
I love good food. Italian, Greek, Turkish, Thai, Viet - it's ALL good. I'm reasonably adventurous food-wise. I'll try anything that doesn't stare back at me or attempt to escape as I bring it to my mouth...
I'm not a great cook, but I enjoy cooking as a shared activity - especially with someone who's passionate about it. Cooking for one, I find to be a chore.
2) Plants & animals - I need a personal connection to the natural world if I'm to preserve my sanity.
3) Human companionship
5) My computer
6) My camera
In all honesty though, everything after #3 is just filler. While I would not chose to do so as long as the modern world still exists, if circumstances demanded it, I would be quite capable of returning to a pre-industrial way of life.
Also; evolution, the future, politics and political reform, aviary designs, plant selections for habitat aviaries, xenobiology, FTL space travel, terraforming Mars, How ecosystems would recover/change/adapt if humans were removed from the equation, The things I would do if I ruled the world (or just the country - I'm not greedy)... I like to mix a little knowledge with a little imagination and see what bubbles up.
Also, despite the impression I usually cultivate, I don't actually hate Football. I don't care enough about it to hate it.
- You have similar interests, or a similar outlook on life.
- You are an artist/photographer and would like to share your work.
- you like to blather on about all manner of nonsensical bollocks.
OR - If I have messaged you. An occasional polite "No, thank you" would make a refreshing change from the traditional 'softly chirping crickets'.