Japan’s Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) if you haven’t heard, landed on the moon within very close range of where its target location was back in January. With only one small problem, one of the engine thrusters lost power just before landing causing SLIM to let’s say, not land on her feet. Then, she lost power because her solar panels were facing the wrong direction. Eventually though, her power was restored thanks to the changing position of the sun, and she resumed her mission of studying the rock compositions of the moon’s surface.

The Google Calendar was released for public use in 2009. Hard to believe it has only been around for a relatively short time. If you want to go down quite a rabbit hole, look up how long the calendar itself has been around for, or who invented it. Whether it was the moon, the sun, or the stars, the origin of how the calendar was created over the millennia is quite a long story. And if you saw the presentation I gave recently, you learned about how January and February came into play much later on. I am still amazed at how the moon plays such a significant role in our calendar. I am even more amazed that spacecraft can land on the moon within a few hundred feet of its target!!!!

When my absolute favorite bird landed in my yard last year on March 20 signifying the first day of spring, it got me thinking. What if I just made the switch to using a nature calendar in lieu of the paper kind? When an osprey landed on a perch near my yard on the same day 365 days later… I was really perplexed and interested. When I saw the same raft of ducks floating on the Stony Brook on a brisk morning in February, 355 days after I saw them before, I became even more intrigued. (They may not be the exact same, but it is possible that they are the same). Google photos often share memories of certain days and I am always amazed at how many times memories of the same event repeat. A red-shouldered hawk on Christmas day two years in a row? It’s crazy!

After this small flock of ducks eluded me the flew out of range for me off the Stony Brook river, my disappointment was quickly alleviated when I spotted a Bald Eagle high in the trees. Careful though I was, this bird as well flew off downstream before I had even a chance at photographic evidence of my findings. As a birder, that happens more times than I can count. You find a bird and no sooner do you have your position and get your settings straight, you are looking down the lens of an empty view finder. The bird taking off as if to say, “Sorry! Not this time!” When this does happen, I try to make the most of it. And time permitting, sketch the memory instead.

So, when a new garden was installed last fall, I wanted to remember which bird it was that landed on the snag first. We intentionally placed a snag for the birds to land on, both to add dimension to the space, and also to aid in my photography landings. But he landed and took off in a hurry so no photo was to be had, so I sketched it…

It’s been said that you remember things better when you write them down on paper. And having sketched this little memory certainly did make me remember the moment. His landing on the snag was one of hundreds if not thousands of landings to come. Maybe one day I can capture an owl perched on the snag with the moon in the background. Now that would be just stellar. Finally, a few days later, I happened to have my camera ready, and recaptured the moment one more time of a male Downy Woodpecker.

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