List of Vermont birding resources

Bald Eagle over Shelburne Bay

Over the last several months, I’ve been taking some wildlife photography of mostly birds. While winter isn’t the best birding season, I’ve been able to photograph quite a few species that’s visiting from the north during the colder weather. I’ve also spotted eight bald eagles in the last month near the Lake Champlain’s coast (three of those were within a couple blocks of my house while walking my dog).

Here’s a few resources for those starting out with birding/bird photography in Vermont that’s been super useful to me:
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Spartan Sprint – 2015 Killington

2015 Spartan Sprint

A few weeks ago, I participated in my first Spartan Race. The Spartan Sprint was held at Killington Mountain Ski Resort and was described as a 3+ mile obstacle course with 15+ obstacles.

Before talking about my experience, I’ll give a brief overview of my physical fitness. Over the last 5 years or so, I’ve ran a handful of times and never worked out. I’ve never enjoyed going to the gym or running, so with the exception of high school cross-country & track and my years in the Marine Corps, I only had a few years of running.

That is until a few months ago when I joined my local Crossfit gym. I read about Crossfit last year and wanted to join, but it was one of those things that I never got around to doing. So with about 2-3 months worth of Crossfit training and a dozen or more ~3 mile runs on the bike path, I made a last minute decision to register for the Spartan Sprint. (I registered on Thursday and ran on Sunday.)

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Summer of Change

Shoes

Well, it’s summer, so I’ve decided to change some things. First, I restarted running again. I was running about 3 times a week before I joined Crossfit. My run pace is still more of a fast jog pace than actually running. I’d love to get my average 3 mile pace under/around 8 minutes/mile – which isn’t very fast but fast enough for me. Right now, my best is an abysmal 9:22 min/mile for a 3 mile course.

ShoesNext, as mentioned above, I joined Crossfit. I’m doing this 3 or 4 days a week and running on the alternate days about 2 or 3 times a week. There’s a lot of weight lifting, which I’ve always avoided. I realized that I’ve lost most of the upper body strength which I used to have, so doing pull ups, which used to be very easy, is now more of a challenge than I expected. I’m enjoying the variety of exercises and movements and it makes working out non-boring which is a good thing – because I get bored of working out really fast.

I’ve purchased a camera. It’s not too fancy of a camera, but it’s fun. It’s an introductory level DSLR and the kit came with a few lens adapters and an additional lens. It’s been pretty fun to just walk around the yard and take photographs. I’ve captured a lot of local insects, wildlife, and birds and I’ve attempted to identify each of the species. You can check out the photos in my Instagram account.

Acoustic GuitarLastly, I also purchased an acoustic guitar. I’ve always wanted to learn, so I’m also in the process of scheduling some lessons. I’m not expecting much, but if I can learn how to play a few songs, then it’ll be fun to practice during the winter.