Bryan Pfeiffer is a well-known Central Vermont writer, naturalist, photographer and educator. Many of us have enjoyed his bird walks/tours, his humor-filled lectures, and his photographic skills. His blog post the other day caught many of us by surprise — not that he’s abandoning some of his many ventures to work on a book — but that he is cutting way back on his electronic activity. For me, tethered to a MacBook, iPad, and iPhone too much, it was a call to look at how I balance my outdoor and other activities with blogging, Tweeting, and Facebooking. (I made that a verb to see if my English-teacher wife reads this!
Bryan outlines his decision with his usual clarity and thoughtfulness. It’s a good read for any birder:
Fifteen years ago I left journalism for nature. I swapped a necktie for binoculars, a reporter’s notepad for a naturalist’s field book. Although my income sank to levels of voluntary poverty, I inherited wealth in a new currency: a warbler’s dawn melody, an orchid’s purple glow, a dragonfly’s ancient tenacity.
This life outside I have been eager to share with others. Coded into my DNA is a drive to bring nature and people together. It is how I’ve made my living. It has given me purpose. I suppose it’s no different than journalism. If the free trade of facts and knowledge are essential to a functioning society, then so too is the discovery and enjoyment of nature critical to its future. And to our own.
If I couldn’t get you outside, your ears tuned to a Mink Frog, your nose tingling with the scent of Balsam Poplar, your eyes wide and locked on a Regal Fritillary, your mouth savoring serviceberries, or your feet wet in a spruce bog, then here at The Daily Wing I ventured to unite your senses with wildlife and wild places. For three years this blog, with all due humility, has been my intersection of nature and journalism.
Now it will rest.
My blend of the wild and the wired will enter diapause, nature’s state of dormancy. Not only will this blog rest, but so will my fling with Facebook, Twitter, digital photography, radio television broadcasts, PowerPointing and other electronic communications. I’m dimming the lights and heading for the woods with a notebook and pencil. (Read the whole post here.)
It’s minus 16 F this morning and still dark out so I think I’m comfortable drinking coffee and writing — but I’m giving Bryan’s diapause idea a lot of thought as we move to saner temperatures and arriving birds.