Tuesday, December 9, 2008
October 15, 2002
I didn't know of winter birds then, but do now. We'd been here at this lake house less than one year when this photo was taken and I'd found myself fascinated by the feathered thespians within the play that acted incessantly outside my window pane, between here and the lake which draws them. The winter birds, the winter birds. "The days grow short as the nights grow long, the kettle sings its tortured song..." "The winter birds have come back again..." (Ray LaMontagne)
Encapsulated within my domestic bubble during winter gray days that fell one after another that first cold spell like dominoes, a simple joy came in seeking new birds that lit upon trees outside. It was here and then that I discovered lighting and perching in the bare branches all manner of waterfowl and songbirds from books long forgotten while bobbing and diving upon the lake itself were various mergansers and ducks, geese and cormorants. Great Blue Herons landed in hickories, yellow-rumped warblers and goldfinches picked at birdseed, Downy woodpeckers, nuthatches and flickers climbed trees for suet, and I rediscovered the loud, raucous calls of red-headed woodpeckers. Bluebirds, finches, sparrows, wrens, cardinals, mockingbirds, and orioles surprised and delighted me. The fight between blue jays and squirrels amused as much as the dive-bombing of hawks and ospreys took me by surprise.
Nature played out as it was destined to do with or without my observation. Mergansers behaved much the same as penguins and white pelicans became heralded visitors. Bald eagles were exclamation points, worthy of phone calls to neighbors. It was here and then that I knew that nature and conservation were a destiny of a sort.
Since then our Conservancy has been created, greater learning and awareness for our riparian zone has grown, and a passion for conservation, indigenous birds, insects, flora and watershed protection has become a passion. One blooms where one is planted, as I've heard said. It is true. Open yourself to what's around you and heed the calling. Be true to yourself and your passion for living. This is a Note To Self.