It has been a while since I’ve posted… perhaps just a summer lull, however I’ve felt I’ve been out of words. I’m now past the mid-way point of this ‘big year’, and when I slow down and think about what I’m doing these days, I truly have no words. Only feelings of deep, deep gratitude and joy.
It was last summer, just about this time, when I began feeling that stirring from within urging me to get back out and live more fully. And I’m now doing that. In addition to enjoying daily time with the birds at home, I’m out birding several days each week.
One recent highlight was a drive to Chesapeake Beach in Calvert County, MD to look for Terns and Cormorants. This was the most adventurous I’ve been with the new van and scooter… and here is one view from the end of a dock. I only hesitated a moment, wondering whether I’d have enough room/skill to back up or turn around. One boat owner, a proud Naval Academy parent, noticed my brief hesitation and quietly said “you’ve got room…”
Here are a few pictures from that trip:
I’ve also been out regularly in neighboring Montgomery County, MD.
Here are a few pictures from both the Oaks Landfill (yes, I have now done an often joked about birding thing and visited an old landfill to see birds) and the Blue Mash trail around the perimeter of the landfill. I was particularly grateful for the opportunity to join Montgomery Bird club members during the Oaks Landfill trip, as there were great birds to see and friendly birders meet. In the weeks since this trip, I’ve continued to feel hopeful that something good, a wildlife sanctuary, has been created over the landfill, yet also sad thinking of all the resources we humans use and discard, most often leaving only our remainders for wildlife.
And lastly, here are a few pictures from Little Bennett Regional Park, just around the corner from home, yet full of new discoveries for me this year.
The picture below is of a Louisiana Waterthrush, the most recent new bird I’ve spotted for the year, #165.
One of my hopes for the year that I hadn’t often spoken about was my hope to see an owl in the wild. I hear both Barred and Eastern Screech Owls regularly at home, however I had never seen an owl in the wild.
This past Thursday afternoon, a large bird flying through the trees at Little Bennett caught my eye. The moment I realized what I just spotted was an owl (!!!), and that same moment I realized that Barred Owl had spotted me, was one of the most exciting birding experiences I’ve ever had.
I want to bring this post to a close by acknowledging the kindness of strangers. I still surprise myself, that I can become so focused on birding and being back out enjoying activities I thought were no longer accessible to me, that I can forget to feel self-conscious about being out with a walker or moving around on a scooter.
Some days I don’t want to put on my brave face, and go out into the world as an individual with wounds and weaknesses exposed. Yet somehow I just get moving and do it, and then find it really is ok.
As I’m learning to do this, as I’m finding my way, the kindness of strangers means so much. That quiet “you’ve got room” from the dock; a hiker making eye contact rather than looking away; a fellow birder pausing to ask what I’ve spotted or to offer guidance on where I might look or listen next; a trip leader encouraging me to be brave and set off on an adventure. And my dearest, bravest friends who come along on this journey. I am grateful. xoxo
Where we live
Is no place to lose your wings
So love, love,