Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Blue Bird of Gratitude



The weather has continued to be insanely lovely.  Today was our fifth day in a row of not-rain, and not-rain is forecast through Tuesday of this week.   Which is not usual for this time of year around these parts.  It has gotten pretty cold at night—down into the 20’s—and in the morning after the sun climbs high enough in the sky to thaw some spots in the yard, we are alive with birds.  Woodpecker, flicker, towhee and I’ve had another visit from the brown creeper; my little kinglet flitting around the branches of the apple tree.  A fat robin scarfing down berries from the pyrachantha.    The posse of chickadees, three kinds of sparrows (song, golden crown and white crown); starlings and bushtits on the suet, “stupid pigeons” (turtledoves) pecking at corn on the ground, purple finches, lesser goldfinches, the ever-present crowd of juncos and the continuing aeronautics of the hummingbirds.  And I’ve witnessed one visit by the Cooper’s hawk, though I’m sure he’s been around more.

Today we went out for brunch and stopped at the “nuclear park” on the way home.  I brought my camera, which is usually the kiss of death as far as photo opportunities go.  If I tote the camera along, I almost never see or get close enough to anything to get a decent picture.

So we got out of the car and scared up a couple of egrets that would not fly close enough for a good shot.  Then we walked down to the path around the pond, spotted a few geese and ducks…nothing we haven’t seen before.  We came upon another egret who also declined to stick around for a photo shoot.  (Egrets have been very much in evidence in my life the past few months…more on that later.)

The wind was up and we were getting chilled, so we turned around and headed back toward the car instead of doing the whole route around the pond as we usually do.  All the time scanning the branches of the tall, naked trees for SOMEone to immortalize digitally.  The trees were gorgeous against the slightly misty blue sky, but…empty.  Skunked again, I thought, and started to climb the embankment up to the road where we parked the car, capping my lens and commencing to stuff the camera back into its neoprene sleeve.

“Kronkkk!”   

“What the…”

 “Kronkkk!  KRONKKK!!”   from almost right above our heads.

“That’s a heron.  Where is it?”

KRONKKK!!”   (Right up here, idiot!)

It still took me awhile to find him, in spite of the fact that he continued his intermittent croaking.  I finally triangulated the sound to a branch in a tree not far from us.  He was so well camouflaged I would never have seen him had he not called out to me.

He did not want me to leave without having a little face-time.  It was as if he was saying, “I’ve been sent with a greeting from the Universe.  And I was NOT going to let you go away without sharing it.”

Well.

All I have to say is,

“Thank you!”


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