Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Reflections on 2015

I gave myself four main challenges in 2015:

1. Desert Survivor's Get-Out-And-Camp Challenge: spend 12 nights outside
2. Desert Survivor's Backyard Bird Challenge: find at least 34 bird species in the yard
3. Try-A-New-Recipe-Every Week Challenge: cook up 52 recipes new-to-me
4. Full-Moon-Photography Challenge: photograph the full moon every month

So how did I do?
1. Camping
For camping, we did awesome. We camped in February (in a rickety old trailer that may have seen its last excursion), over spring break, several times during the summer including two backpacking trips, and on a fall trip. All total, the kids camped out 12 nights. I had a few more due to some caving and canyoneering trips.

2. Birding
I really thought we were on track to break our backyard bird tally from last year. But at the end of May, we stopped seeing new species. We kept looking, but I have to admit we were often distracted by other activities, so if some new species came for a visit, we didn't notice them. We didn't even get any fall migrants. But we did get a new species for the year on December 21. And maybe we'll get pinyon jays. But at the moment, we're tied with last year, at 34 (and that includes chickens for this year, so realistically we're a little behind.)

3. Recipes
Well, I discovered I'm no food blogger. I do try new recipes, but it's usually in spurts, and I just don't want to put the time and effort into blogging about them. I keep trying to find healthy and efficient recipes, especially ones where the kids can help me.

4. Full Moon Photography
I did pretty well with photographing the full moon. There were a few times bad weather intervened, and when I was in the city in October I didn't feel inclined to take a photo of the moon, but I learned a lot more about moon phases and where the moon rises and sets. I am not quite an expert (I was sorta hoping I would be after a year), but I'm still enthusiastic and will try from time to time to get that perfect moon shot.

Overall, I enjoyed doing these challenges. They kept me learning, and they say that's one of the best ways to stay young. :)

What's on for 2016? Stay tuned...

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