At the beginning of December, 2012, Gerry Cooperman posted a query on the MASSBIRD list serve in which he asked

“all that bird to take a moment to step back and look at why you do what you do. What was the spark that got you started?”

I was intrigued by Gerry’s questions and wrote to him asking to use his posting on my Vermont Birder blog.  I figured that I’d use a few of the responses he might get as guest posts — bloggers are always looking for interesting content.

Little did I know, or did Gerry, that the next few weeks of postings would be full of individual stories from all over Massachusetts as well as other parts of the Northeast.  Once I got started, I decided to keep plugging away and have ended up with over fifty “sparks.”

I have put the links to each group.  I only used first names of people but you can search for your name and should find the blog post in which your story was included.

Original Post     Gerry Cooperman

Part 1  (Paul, Kathleen, David, Steve)

Part 2  (Catherine, Tom, Gerry, Jessica)

Part 3   (Doug, Stuart, Walt)

Part 4  (Dana, Dick H, Jim, Leslie, Fred)

Part 5   (Carolyn, Darin, Tom, Dee)

Part 6  (David, Sarah, Gian, Glenn)

Part 7  (Jean, Ann, John, Henry, David)

Part 8  (Jo-Anna, Kevin, Mike, Jim)

Part 9  (Lori, Jo-Dee, Amy, Greg, Mark)

Part 10  (Suzanne, Warren, Marjorie, Bruce)

Part 11  (Margie, Tim, CJ, Paul, Josh)

Part 12  (Denise, Myer, Jim, Linda)

Part 13  (Jeff, Michael, Dave)

Part 14  (Matt, Scott, Gerry)

This turned out to be a much bigger project than I expected but I, like many MASSBIRD readers, got hooked by the interesting diversity of people and stories. There are many themes — some being “starting early,” “mentoring,” rekindling the spark … I invite you to re-read these and see what you find.  If nothing else, we’ve proved that MA has a lot of interesting birders who are good writers — and tell their story well.

There was some discussion of gathering these into some sort of collection.  If someone is interested, go for it.  Just be careful of the images — all are Creative Commons licensed and just need attribution.  I know that some posts got lost in the shuffle but we did get 58 of them cleaned up and posted.  They’ll be archived here for some time so feel free, when the birding is slow, to come back and read some.  It was a privilege to work with your material.  Dick

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