speed birding: identification on the road

Recently, I returned from Argentina and Uruguay (on a lovely trip with my choir!!). Abroad, we spent the majority of our time (when we weren’t singing, that is) in cities or driving between cities. If I’d had my way, we would have visited more parks or done a few hikes in the surrounding countryside, but as it were, we mostly remained in the urban heart of Buenos Aires. So in terms of birding, that meant little to no nature, no experience, and—oh no!—no binoculars. I hadn’t even brought the zoom lens for my camera. I also realized on day 2 that Merlin, my trusty bird ID app, didn’t include Argentina in any of its regional guides. So, without my usual tools, I set out to make the most of my eyes and notebook. Read More


growing up: a collection

I started this blog thinking I’d upload a post every week or so, maybe even two a week. Well, it’s been a month now with no new content! (Plus, I’m hopping on a plane to Argentina in 5 hours, which will be another two weeks without updates.) It’s just that in this season of goodbyes and endings, these past few weeks have been the busiest of my entire year. It’s funny how we lose ourselves in the busyness; I’ve been so caught up in preparations for final concerts and graduation and leaving home that it’s only just hit me. This is it. High school is over. In two and a half months, home will be a small town off the coast of Maine.

So, knowing me, I’ve been writing a lot to try to make the letting go easier. And while I’ve spent the past few days thinking about how I’m going to cope without my parents and friends, how my days of familiar faces in the Interlake hallways are over, how I’ve said goodbye to my best friend—I’m only now realizing that I also have to leave this place. Bellevue, Seattle, the gorgeous PNW will soon be 3000 miles away.

So here’s a collection of words, all related in some way to these various goodbyes. There will be a time to write about new beginnings, but at the moment, I haven’t quite accepted the endings. Read More



erasures: defeat writer’s block

These past few weeks, I’ve suddenly found myself with more time to create. (Or maybe I’ve just become better at ignoring my responsibilities? Who knows??) But when I sit myself down to write something new, 99% of the time, my brain is either blank or refuses to quiet down enough for any Meaningful Thoughts to happen. Go eat a snack! Check your phone for new meme tags! Rearrange your sock drawer!

So then what do I do? Read More