I grew up with Roger Tory Peterson’s field guide in the house. I was not a bird watcher then (“birder” with its exciting, action-orientated flavor, had not yet taken over the lingo). My mother was. I didn’t get it. I could definitely identify a Northern Cardinal.
When I started to watch birds I decided to go with D.A.Sibley. Why? I don’t remember my reasoning. Anyway, here it is, my original copy, 15 years later, bashed a bit, slightly foxed (aren’t we all?) but with the signatures still holding. In general I don’t carry a book out into the field anymore — unless there’s a vehicle involved.By now, I have copies of both Sibley and Peterson. One of my two Peterson’s is this lichen-green clothbound 1956 version of the 2nd revised & enlarged edition. (The bust, which may be a 19th century European Tour fake, is just parked on it for fun.) An unknown Harry gave this book to the equally unknown Helen for a birthday present in 1958. The endpapers of this one have roadside and flight silhouettes, an excellent learning tool considering the spectrum of lighting conditions one encounters in the real world. Attention Houghton Mifflin: these would make a great tote bag!
Glancing over my shelves, I see I have more than a dozen field guides for birds, some by location, some for complicated categories like shorebirds and raptors. Sure, I have a couple of ID apps, but I still consult these books with some frequency.
After years of studying the issue and thinking hard about it, ha-ha-ha, the House GOP came out with a cobbled together piece of ACA-“replacement” garbage that rewards the wealthy and healthy and punishes the poor, sick, and old. And by old, they mean those over 40, but really 50 and 60-somethings. (AARP is already running ads against the “age tax.”) Better win the lottery to be able to afford health care. (Or Darwin forbid, mad Dr. Ben Carson drilling a hole in your brain so you can recite a book you didn’t read 60 years ago about slaves being immigrants.) Republicans gotta Republican, of course, serving their billionaire masters and shafting the nimrods who continue to vote for them. It’s not Trumpcare, it’s Trumpneglect. 2018 can’t come fast enough to start flushing these nasty bastards down the drain.