Tuesday, March 25, 2008

New Season, New Experiences

Spring is here and I have already experienced two situations which are new for me. Our area of Wisconsin has officially received over 100 inches of snow this past winter. Another, more enjoyable first, was the opportunity to give our Eagle Optics presentation on binoculars and spotting scopes to a local group. Many there already own a pair of binoculars, but they were surprised at the technical aspects of binocular construction. As I passed around some of my favorite pairs, they noticed the improved performance of the new binoculars.

I love talking about sport optics and I love learning from nature lovers around the country who call or come to see us. Thanks to a tip from a visitor to young birder.jpgour Eagle Optics showroom, I finally had consistent visits last summer to my hummingbird feeder. The customer advised me to mix one-third cup of sugar to one cup of water, instead of the typical one-fourth to one. I took her advice and got early activity from Baltimore Orioles and regular visits from a pair of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. I look forward to the snow finally melting and putting this great tip to practice soon.

Always amazed by the new things I learn, I am reminded of my attempt to interest a great-great aunt in birdwatching. Upon her retirement at 85 years of age, I bought her a finch feeder to put outside her window. I was sure the antics of the finches feeding would bring enjoyment to her. I was wrong. She was aggravated by the birds fighting for positions at the feeder, so we took the feeder down. Although birdwatching was not a gift she could appreciate at her age, I have to believe there are many people in our lives who will enjoy the enchantment of birds and nature right in their backyard.

When I came to work at Eagle Optics, I was a longtime backyard birder with a very dismal pair of compact binoculars. Access to bright (but not necessarily expensive) binoculars has opened a new world for me. My family is finally getting used to me being lured away from dinner and grabbing binoculars to take a look at birds visiting the feeders. The plumage detail, bathing rituals, feeding habits---even my first look at a hummingbird's tongue, would not be possible without binoculars. Nature lovers can't help but be bewitched by such details when readily available through the right pair of binoculars.

With spring migration upon us, I hope you will think about treating yourself to a pair of binoculars or giving them to someone who loves exploring the world around us. Consider giving the gift of binoculars---except maybe to your 85 year old great-great aunt.


Eagle Optics Staff

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