Bird of the year

This entry was adapted from previously published posts.

In her paean to birding, Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds, Lyanda Lynn Haupt writes:

There is a game birders play on New Year’s Day called “Bird of the Year.” The very first bird you see on the first day of the new year is your theme bird for the next 365 days. It might seem a curious custom, but people who watch birds regularly are always contriving ways to keep themselves interested. This is one of those ways. You are given the possibility of creating something extraordinary — a Year of the Osprey, Year of the Pileated Woodpecker, Year of the Trumpeter Swan. This game is an inspiration to place yourself in natural circumstances that will yield a heavenly bird, blessing your year, your perspective, your imagination, your spirit. New year, new bird.

Our family has played this game long enough that we needed to rework the rules a bit or risk getting the same birds again and again. And again. This year, my husband and I decided to choose the first birds we espied on our first walk of the new year. He has embraced a Year of the Canada Goose. And I? Imagine my delight when a red-tailed hawk flew across my path.


Up early again

A rhythmic  thrum-thump woke me just after 4 a.m. Certain that the HVAC tech had (perhaps wittingly?) dislodged something during yesterday’s clean-and-check, I leaned against the unit with a mug of coffee, analyzing the fan’s every noise before conceding that all seemed fine. By then, my husband had joined me, so we stepped outside to look at the moon. And thrum-thump, thrum-thump! Music? Was someone hosting a party? Where? And why had it begun after 4?

Grateful the source of the noise wasn’t in our house, we finished the morning chores, grabbed some breakfast bars, and headed to the conservation area. 

Early rising

Taken yesterday at the end of our walk.

We rose before 5 a.m. yesterday and today to ensure we enjoyed two walks in one of the conservation areas this weekend. The trails we love are all relatively near, but we have limited time most weekday mornings. In the twenty-ish minutes it takes to drive to another location we could log a mile walking in the neighborhood; ditto for the trip home. Since our goal is a minimum of four miles each morning before my husband begins work, the drive makes no sense Monday through Friday. So we “schedule” our weekend walks to visit beautiful trails, birdwatch, “forest bathe,” etc.