One spectacular painting showed a snake crawling up the tree towards a target bird. That was before TV and when we were still taught to treat any book with great respect. Now I scribble and highlight in them, even my bible has notes all over the margins. It took me a long time to be able to do that without guilt. That would make my great-grandmother pass out. Such blasphemy. But at one time books were rare objects to own. They were treated like the jewels they were. I wonder where that huge Audubon tome with all the pictures/drawings is now? We used to have a clock much like this in our back yard. I always knew it was 5:00 and Happy Hour when the Tufted Titmouse sang. For years I tallied the feathered visitors to our winter bird feeders for the USA's Cornell University's Ornithology Lab which collaborated on data collected with Canada Bird Studies.
I will join again when we are settled into a more-permanent home. But still when we are camping I keep my reference books and binoculars close by.
For years I was too interested in riding horses and ranching and food gardens but came back to birds for my old age. It is a simple, satisfying and peaceful hobby. I am always learning something new.