Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Perspective

   


    A jumble of notes shatters the still air. I roll over, peer at my alarm clock with drowsy eyes, and sigh: 1:28 AM. He must be desperate, that mockingbird out my window. I can imagine him propped on the neighbor's roof, a gleam of mischief and pride in those tawny eyes as he sings relentlessly. This isn't the first time he's woken me, and honestly, I don't mind....


    They return every March and stay through May, causing daily headaches with their ruckus. The males scream from the tree tops in the field behind our house. It's hard to find anything admirable about Common Grackles....


    I love Carolina Wrens - so perky and bubbly in personality. And loud. A pair often occupies the brush pile in our backyard. They have two "wrenlets" that are the size of Winter Wrens, with the little stubby tail(!). Heart-melting....


    Right now, I'm sitting by my open window, just listening. Robins have beautiful songs. Funny how I've never noticed before....


    Dad, Nolan, and I sit in the truck as Chuck-will's-widows, Eastern Whip-poor-wills, and Common Nighthawks add their pieces to the nighttime chorus. I'm speechless. Hearing all of them sing simultaneously is amazing. Farther down the road, an Eastern Screech-Owl is tossed into the mix. Hello, summer evenings in Tennessee....


    I stand at the stern of the boat and let it sink in. I'm currently throwing cat food, fish heads, and who knows what else, to gannets and gulls. My life couldn't be farther from normal....


    Well, we're staring at an Eastern Screech-Owl that's eye-level and only five feet away. I'm not sure whether I should be terrified (look at those claws) or rejoicing at my good fortune. But man, am I getting some killer photos....


    "Here they come!" Two Swallow-tailed Kites appear in the horizon. We followed them north along the highway for several miles, but finally had to let them do the catching up. Elegantly they drift closer and closer until...right over our heads! WOW....


    (Birding really is how you make it - it's all about perspective. For some birding is a competition. Others, a hobby or a passion. But for me, though, it's enjoyment.)