Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Spring Always Comes

I took the afternoon off for me. The morning was filled with phone calls, making appointments, errands to the bank and post office and laundry. I put supper in the crock pot (you GOTTA love a crock pot!) grabbed my camera and bins and hit the road. I didn't have to go far, two parks both within five miles of home. At my first stop I was greeted by a pair of phoebes perched in some branches overhanging a quiet stream. They weren't shy about darting out for insects over the water, then shooting back to the branches to eat their snacks. This was the best look I'd ever gotten of phoebes. I was lucky to have nice bench nearby to watch the show. I took gobs of pictures of the phoebes but they were unfortunately all slightly out of focus.
I can't get enough of these song sparrows. They're singing their hearts in my yard right now- such a lovely song.
This one at the park was quite bold scratching the ground near my feet looking for a tasty morsel.
Up high in the tangle of branches, a flash of yellow- a Butterbutt! Sit still, there's another and another!! Yellow-rumped warblers are one of the few warblers I'm confident (sort of) to id. I am so excited to have gotten a picture of him. My first warbler photo! Well second I guess, I did get a few pictures of an ovenbird up at Hasty Brook last year.
I have found the best way for me to birdwatch is to find a spot and wait. I settled in on a bench at the second park and waited for the birds to show themselves. A group of twitchy tiny ruby-crowned kinglets flitted in the brush across the sidewalk. A flock of sparrows moved slowly through, pecking and scratching the ground as they went along. Song sparrows, chipping sparrows and in among the group, looks like a chipper but a bit larger, rusty cap, no black eye line, tree sparrow? No breast spot- it's a field sparrow!! That's a lifer for me!
After a bit I noticed little black berries dropping around me, on my head and even down the back of my shirt. I slowly looked up and in the trees barely three or four feet over my head were a half dozen cedar waxwings!! I could barely believe my eyes. It was a gift for me. I'm not ashamed to say tears were flowing. Birding feeds my soul.
Time to head home, a stop at the grocery store on the way. One more quick stop at a little wild spot behind a church near the store. I hopped out of the car, headed toward the pond and this fat woodchuck scooted past. I'm not sure who was more startled- him or me! He gave me the evil eye for a little while then made a soft barking sound and huffed away. Spring always comes.

17 comments:

pablo said...

Wow, I could have used a day like that today!

Mary said...

Oh, Lynne. Wow. What a day you deserve so much after that horrid winter. Those cedar waxwings were a favorite for me but they left the area way too soon! So now you have them!

Sometimes, we need to make some time for ourselves to see special things but, it's hard to schedule.

Woo Hoo! You had a wonderful day. Love those WOODCHUCKS!

Body Soul Spirit said...

You are so right...it is best to stay still in one spot and wait for the birds. Love your pictures. I saw my first dandelion today.
ruth

Susan Gets Native said...

You people in the Great White North deserve days like that!

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
I have no idea why I typed all that out. That was hard!

LostRoses said...

Lynne, I've done that crying/birding thing too, gotta love it! Great photos.

Liza Lee Miller said...

I was near tears watching my Lesser Goldfinches and the Raven the other day. I share your joy!

Oh, and Susan . . .
He'd chuck all the wood that a wood chuck should if a wood chuck could chuck wood.

Jayne said...

Wow, what a day! Cute woodchuck and ohhh...the waxwings!!! I'd cry too Lynne!

MojoMan said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful day! Great photos! Do you have a special lens to get those close-up bird photos?

Lynne said...

Pablo- it was terrific.

Mary- I've only ever seen cedar waxwings twice before in my life! It IS hard to schedule time out of a busy week to take for one's self but it never is wasted time.

Ruth- I find myself much too distracted to walk along looking for birds. Sit and wait works for me. That was my first dandelion too!

Susan- I knew the woodchuck picture would make people think of that tongue twister but leave it to you to type it out!!

Lostroses- I knew this blogging community wouldn't snort at me for being move to tears by the moment.

Liza- Sometimes it's just so moving to see something so special. You're a woodchuck nut too!

Jayne- I really felt it was a gift just for me.

Mojoman- Thank you! I have a Nikon Coolpix S10. It has a 10X optical and 4X digital zoom. It's a pocket sized point and shoot camera. The warbler picture was zoomed out to the max and so it a bit grainy. The rest were all within the 10x range.

greg said...

Great post and a great lot of birds and wildlife to see. Even though I'm not much of a birder, I too have found the best method for me to really soak it all in is to find a good spot in the woods and sit. Even if I don't see a single critter, a wonderful meditative feeling washes over me after not too long.

Anyway, sounds like a great afternoon.... congrats!

Lynne said...

Greg- Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment! You're right about the feelings you get when you sit still in the woods. I feel like I become both more aware and less visible. Those feelings are gifts.

Deb said...

So you can completely relate to the "wonder" quote I posted last night. I feel sorry for anyone who isn't moved to tears by an encounter like you described.

Cathy said...

Lynne! Great minds moving together! I promise: I took 'tons' of dandelion photos yesterday thinking - "these will make a great post". I made my husband walk through a field of them yesterday. I LOVE them and hate to see the chemicals go done to eradicate them.

Can you believe we're getting warbler pixes!? Ah . . . . . :0) Sweet little Ground Hog. I know they can be a nuisance, but I feel about them as I do about the dandelions.

Lynne said...

Deb- I can completely relate to your quote. I've jotted down that book and author to look for. I think it would be an empty life to not be moved by wonder.

Cathy- I remember as a kid thinking there was no more beautiful flower than a dandelion! And now we put down chemicals, dig and spray to be rid of them. Do we need to work to get back the simple wonders of childhood again?

LauraO said...

Don't you just love days off like that? What a great afternoon! Nice to see you've discovered the sit-spot method of birding! Love the woodchuck photo...

Larry said...

-I'm near tears thinking about what might be cooking in the crockpot.-I love crockpots and grills-My two favorite ways to cook!-

Seriously though-I'm glad you had a nice day off and enjoyed the scenery.-I just saw a Cedar Waxwing the other day. It was my first since fall of last year.

Lynne said...

LauraO- Sit-spot works the best for me. I thought the woodchuck was cute too.

Larry- I use my crock pot at least once a week. I love being able to start it up and walk away especially in the summer- it doesn't add heat to the house.