Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Birds of Winter

Blackbirds, primarily grackles, take flight, December 4

Each year I look forward to the grackle wave. Tens of thousands of birds use the opening around our home to forage. When the flock is at a distance, the birds sounds like a waterfall. So black and featureless, they appear like paper cut outs in the sky. From the porch, my husband and I watched the birds fly over. 

Jared wondered if our son was awake, so he too could see the birds. No, asleep. And there we let him sleep, one year and two days old, teething and croupy.

Along the trail at Cook Natural Area in Kingston, December 5 

My husband gasped and said, "Look!" I thought, "Snake."

To my husband's frustration, when he exclaims, "Look!", "Look out!", "Duck!", or "Slow down!", I usually say, "Huh?" I think a touch of fight or flight comes on.  Instead of seeing more clearly, my eyes blur and I get ready to... stand still. Of course, 'fight or flight' doesn't take animals like woodcocks and grouses into consideration--animals that do best by moving slowly or not at all.

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