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Monday, May 2, 2011

The End of Our Trip

As I review my photographs from my wildflower outing with Pat's birding club I see that I have almost almost no usable photos.  We did see some nice birds, starting with this blurry Song sparrow which serenaded us along with a couple of its friends from Ohio River backwater's edge, along the road.
On the other side of the road we saw a couple Red-breasted Mergansers though you will just have to take my word for it because the photographs look like one of those UFO pictures used to prove the existence of aliens, all blurry and indistinct.
If you look very carefully, you will see a Red-bellied woodpecker pecking out a home in this dead tree.
My favorite sighting was of a Savannah sparrow seen at the Willow Island locks and dam parking lot. Pat set up his new scope, took a quick look then graciously stepped back to let everyone else have a peek.  There it was, perched quietly, looking like it had flown full-speed through a pool of yellow paint, the paint now splayed back across its head. The sparrow perched quietly, unmoving until we all had our fill of watching the bird - well almost all.  Pat, in his usual unselfish way, waited patiently for everyone else to see the bird. He then stepped up his scope, perfectly situated for viewing the Savannah sparrow. He leaned in toward the eye piece just as the sparrow flew off and out of sight.  His disappointment was palpable. For several of the viewers, it has been a "ho-hum" sighting.  They had seen Savannah sparrows before.  For Pat, it was among his first chances to see the bird. That is how Pat is, though. He is a friend who puts others first.
This day we also saw Cormorants, Greater scaups, Kingfishers, and other birds that I don't remember - I was there for the flowers. Today, I wanted to concentrate on life that didn't fly away. Though not flowers, I couldn't help but admire these trees, the first one for its wonderfully exposed root system . . .
. . . this one, below for the bends and twists of its branches that gave it the character of life . . .
. . .then the final tree, below, one who has gained beauty with its death, still erect on a hillside surrounded by moss and Blue-eyed marys.
Speaking of moss, I'm pretty sure that the photo below shows a man who has been still so long that his features have become covered in green. He has become part of the mountain
Wildflowers are so prevalent in the area partly because of little human disturbance.  There aren't many new homes or mobile homes.  What is left are homes and out-buildings with charm and beauty that comes only with age.

Our trip is over for the year.  I, for one, hated to return to the world of pavement and people.  I had a feeling that if I could open my arms wide enough to enfold the landscape in a giant hug that perhaps I could become part of it . . . to escape my ordered life and become part of the woodland scape. 
Could I become like one of the many plants that have been neatly planted - plants that are expected to stay put and behave? They are the plants that betray their upbringing to step, one root at a time, 
into the Wild.

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1 comment:

Leigh said...

Gosh, I don't think I've ever seen a Savannah sparrow. We used to do the Cornell Feeder Watch, when my kids were younger, and we saw a lot of interesting birds.

Your photos are lovely. Real works of art.