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Our last Program Meeting was in late February and our last face-to-face Board Meeting was in early March. Since then, we have suspended our normal scheduled activities. I often think about our many volunteers and members who attend these Lane Audubon functions, people I only see at that time. Now months have passed and I feel the loss of normal contacts, hugs, smiles, and bird sightings that we would normally share when we see each other. I hope each of you is doing what you can to stay safe and healthy!

We have all been forced to find new ways to live our lives. For Lane Audubon we are using new technologies like Zoom for our Board meeting, and this month we will have our first Zoom Program meeting presentation. Nothing can replace the enjoyment of our in-person gatherings, so we do hope we can return to the traditional format in the future. For now, we hope you will stay connected to us via the electronic world. We are also open to new ideas and suggestions for keeping in touch, so please reach out if you want to share those with us! Our organization continues to adjust to the pandemic world, and we plan to stay involved with environmental outreach and education as the situation allows. 

This is a year of many changes. Spending time in nature is one of my survival strategies. I find it comforting and healthy to be outdoors, both doing physical activity and observing and taking in nature’s beauty. The 2020 pandemic stay-at-home lifestyle gives us a chance to hone our yard bird lists. Birding at home, we can have a Yard List for birds, other animals, wildflowers, and mushrooms. Tracking the date of first arrival of a bird species in the spring and the last sighting before birds leave for fall migration is easier when we are home all the time!

Have you become a user of eBird or iNaturalist this year to help track your observations? Have you learned more than you thought possible by observing the birds and animals that are in your yard? Being forced to stay home and watch the world in your backyard can be a revelation of the wonderment and solace nature provides. 

Keep looking and keep learning about these animals who are our neighbors. It may open your mind and heart to them and help to make your world seem more interesting. Time in nature gives us a chance to reevaluate our priorities and values. I know that has been my experience and has helped me calm my mind through this time!