Cold wind all day Sunday made an easy excuse to not walk. Instead I walked down along the creek, sheltered by the banks from the gusts. The birds rewarded me for my effort. A downy woodpecker put on a wonderful show. My National Geographic field guide calls this bird "somewhat unwary", and that is apt. Backlit by the afternoon sun, its red head reminded me of the woman who works in the building across from my school. She is at least my age, and quite large. Most noticeably, she keeps her hair spiked and henna red. From now on when I see her on the sidewalk, I'll think of the downy woodpecker and smile.
This busy, tiny bird behaved just like the field guide description for a brown creeper. It moved in a spiral from low on the trunk to high, then flew to low on another trunk. If it stayed still, it could have been perfectly camouflaged. To my delight it was hyperactive.
Perhaps the strangest sighting was a large white dove high up in a tree. My neck is still stiff from craning my head and squinting up at it. No olive branch of peace shows up in my 12x zoom photos. The field guide does describe an all-white rock dove.
The most surprising sighting of the day isn't listed in the guide--a young man staring at the trees and holding a field guide! Turns out he owns a house in the neighborhood on the other side of the creek, and was trying to learn about trees. We visited for a bit about butterflies, birds, using native plants in landscaping. I wish I'd mentioned the Tree Notes blog.
My slow photo walks are usually solitary. I was downright glad to find another member of my species engaged in a similar pursuit.
I hadn't thought of this song in years. Just wondered about the distinction between "delighted" and "glad". Maybe more on that a different day, but for now my efforts to blog myself out of a funk are helping. As Emily Dickinson wrote, "Hope is a thing with feathers."
© 2010 Nancy L. Ruder