Birds don’t make passes at dudes with bad glasses
Patrick at The Hawk Owl’s Nest started a cool little turn down memory lane when he asked about bird blogger’s first pair of binoculars. I don’t remember my very very first pair, they were likely any of the set of marginal optics that my dad had lying around the house. I know for a fact we had a couple versions of cheap 7x35s that were likely around my neck the first couple trips out. It wasn’t long before I felt the pull that we all do towards a slightly better pair.
My first purchased binoculars were a pair of Bushnell Powerview 10×50 porros that cost about $85, a princely sum for a 13 year old, that I got at the local Bass Pro Shops. Bass Pro is an outdoor supply store, which in the Ozarks means hunting supply, so I had two options, the green or the camo. I went with the green, and those binoculars were with me for many many life birds. They had the teeter-totter focusing mechanism and roll down eyecups, that I didn’t use cause I used to push my glasses up on my forehead to look through the bins. Now I just wear contacts. I still have them, sitting in a closet just in case something happens to my current pair or someone needs to borrow them.
But it wasn’t just the bins that are a trove of memories. I did this incredibly dorky (read: awesome) thing where I purchased patches at the birding locations I visited and sewed (well, my mom did the actual sewing) them on the soft pack that my bins came it. I had one from Ding Darling, and one from the Everglades, and one from Huachuca Canyon in Arizona. Pretty geeky huh? Well, you won’t hear any denial from this end, I proudly let my geek flag fly.
My current pair of bins, some 8×42 Eagle Optics Rangers, are far better constructed. The straight prisms are a bit more sturdy, and definitely less nerdy, then the porros. I got them about 3 years ago and I’m pretty happy. But I only think of them as my second pair, and I’ve already got my eyes on my last pair. I’m saving up for a kick-ass pair of Zeiss, and I should be ready for purchase sometime near the end of the year (but only if the dollar stops tanking…). They’ll be the kind of binoculars I can wear to the grave, and I’d have to, because should I be cremated the fine German optics will probably survive the flames (I can’t be the only one who’s considered this, right?).
The story of my binoculars is indeed, the story of my birding career. It’s certainly another fun thing to think about when considering how far I, and all of us, have come. Thanks to Patrick for the inspiration!