Sunday, July 08, 2018

Pull up a rock

"Pull up a rock," JB says and he sits down to listen to birds. I plop down on a neighboring rock to keep him company.

Apparently JB can hear the sound of a black-throated green warbler. I hear a lot of sounds but nothing sounds distinct to me. He's only heard one of these birds. Never seen it. "Man I would love to see it," he says. 

I pull up a rock and pull out my birding entertainment: 

This is how we bird together. I love being outside. I like being active. I love being with JB. I like the idea of birds. But I just can't get into the whole "hunt" for a life list of birds. 

Not only that but birding is done mostly be ear. The visual is secondary. (I am trying to learn how to walk quieter in order to help JB hear better. Apparently I am a loud walker.)

Anytime he delays I just pull out my book and start reading. I actually thought people on the trails with us would think me a weirdo, but instead I found they all think I am just reading our birding book. I've joked that I'm going to put a fake book cover on anything I'm reading so that I fit in a bit better!

P.S. Did you know you can hear trees swaying? 

P.S.S. I wrote this while listening to the Hairy Woodpecker bang on a tree.


Mandolynn said...

Black-throated greens are extremely difficult to see because they are high up, well-camouflaged, and always on the move. I have "seen" one, if you count a flash in the treetop. Black-throated blues are even prettier and a little easier to spot because they are not the same colors as the leaves. Both have fascinating songs. Once while hiking in Shenandoah NP I came face-to-face with a black-throated blue as I climbed a steep grade. A crystal memory for life.

Once you understand that birding is mostly done by ear, you unlock the door to a whole world of motion and color that is invisible to most of the rush-a-bye world. Birders stop. They listen. They are in the moment. They don't have to hike 10 miles to have a rewarding day. Sometimes you find more birds in the parking lot than you do on the trail (birds like locations where different habitats meet).

"This is my Father's world,
The birds their carols raise..."

Thanks, birds. Thanks, Father. The world you have given us is truly a beautiful place.

Betsy said...

I love bird watching.
Birding connects you to all sorts of other natural systems. You begin to learn trees and shrubs and bugs and weeds and eventually you pick up all on things like clouds and the weather data that tells you when birds will travel.Its as simple or as complex a study as you make it, and every bit, simple or difficult, easy or challenging, brings learning, satisfaction and joy.
As silly as it seems, a 'life bird' Is a real treat. I don't think you ever forget where you saw your first bird of a species once you have begun to ' bird'.
You may have seen a hundred Blue Jays, but you will remember that special one you put on your life list! Those sightings, and the memories attached to them, where you were, who you were with, etc., are treasures to keep.
In my opinion, it's one of the loveliest ways to enrich one's life on God's great earth.
Aunt Betsy