Saturday, February 19, 2011

70 Degrees in February

A tree full of turkey vultures

With a gorgeous and unusual February day, what is more perfect than birding? I have been ashamedly lax in birding. The harsh winter and a job that keeps me on the road and working for hours when I get home are my excuses. But no more. A well-deserved vacation day and record-setting warmth and sunshine were on the calendar. I was prepared to bird in the cold, but lucky me.

Going to my usual haunts- Nockamixon State Park and Peace Valley Park- afforded looks at all the usual suspects. But at Nockamixon, hundreds of snow geese were unexpectedly flying over and making a terrible racket. I found one dark morph goose in with the rest, perhaps a blue morph snow goose. Nice. Life bird wiggle all alone while standing at the shore of a partially frozen lake surrounded by woods. Hope no one saw me and thought I was having an epileptic fit. But one must appease the bird gods after all.

Melting snow making torrents of miniature white-water rapids down the sides of the road added a beautiful background noise to the soundtrack of scolding titmice, frenetic chickadees, throaty red-bellied woodpeckers and single note chirps of brilliant red and orange Northern cardinals. The cardinals have never looked more striking.

The tall iron branches in the forest,

the dense fertility on the ground.

The world is wet.

The morning time

Mother earth is cool.

The air is like a river

which shakes the silence.

It smells of rosemary

of space and roots.

Overhead a crazy song.

How out of its throat

smaller than a finger

can there fall

the waters of its song?

Invisible power

torrent of music in the leaves.

Clean and freshwashed is this day

resounding like a green dulcimer.

Oh invisible little critters

birds of the devil with their ringing

with their useless feathers.

I only want to caress them

to see them resplendent.

I want to see them living.

I want to converse with them

sitting on my shoulders.

You can't touch them.

You can hear them like a heavenly

rustle or movement.

They converse with precision.

They repeat their observations.

They brag of how much they do.

They comment on everything that exists.

And by a sure science they know

where there are harvests of grain.

-Pablo Neruda


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Great post Beth! I wish I could have come along.

Susan Gets Native said...

Oh, God. You put in a Neruda. I love you.

"epileptic fit".....ROFLMAO.

Anonymous said...


I just had a question about your website, , and found it fun and interesting! If you could e-mail me back at, I would love to talk with you.

Thank you for your time,
Alexandra Klippert