Well, time flies when you're incapacitated. It's just a day off five weeks since I had surgery. I'm feeling stronger each week, though I've got a fair way to go and will have to endure some more chemo (probably in the New Year, which I will not find out the details for until mid-December). I can just about sit at the PC for long enough now to do useful stuff to pass some time. In particular I've been pulling through records from Naturespot and iRecord, plus additional records from my own notes/photos/Blog, and updating my personal Mapmate database. I'm also well underway with catching up on transcribing my garden moth records from my digital dictaphone.
Over the last week or so, I have been able to gradually walk a bit further and have starting ambling down the lane with my bins. Getting fresh air and watching a few common birds has been a tonic, with Jay, Sparrowhawk, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Yellowhammer, Fieldfare, Redwing and Great Spotted Woodpecker all adding interest. I've also noticed a number of regular wild plants that are in flower, or only just gone over - perhaps a sign that the November weather overall was not particularly arduous.
Whilst shuffling along minding my own business, I started mulling over what may be possible in 2021. I probably won't be driving much before January, and currently have no idea what the chemo treatment plan will look like and what the impact will be. But I am sure that I will have recovered sufficiently from the surgery itself, and dealing with life-changing adjustments has so far the least troublesome aspect of recovery. I am sure that I should be able to do something at least locally, and aside from general aims (like staying alive, avoiding novel viral infections and still managing to metaphorically put food on the table), I feel that I need to start setting some targets and personal challenges. Like all naturalist bloggers seem to do in December!
My mind wandered back to the inaugural 1000 species in 1k square challenge. I was surprised when I looked back that it was in 2013 - though it does feel like a long while ago now. I managed to build a pretty good total for the year (1139 species), but looking back the garden moth trap enjoyed a particularly good year which helped. Here's a reminder of the species breakdowns:
I started thinking along the lines that I must (or at least should) be better equipped now than I was then: more literature, even more web resources, more on-line groups and - above all that - more experience and hopefully I've learnt a bit. I also remembered that, at the time, it seemed to be pretty much all consuming and that I was adamant I wouldn't be trying again. But .....