March 18, 2011
Yesterday afternoon, as I walked our Wetland Walk trail here on the Refuge, I was reminded that even one bird...even a common bird...can really make your day.
As spring continues to sneak up on us, the coots and the grebes, the swallows and wrens and shorebirds, keep trickling in. Some of our local birds (song sparrows, red-winged blackbirds and meadowlarks) are already singing and setting up territories in preparation for hopeful mating and nesting. It was one of these birds, a Western meadowlark, that made me smile yesterday.
Like a small burst of sun peeking out of the grass, this young male was singing his hear out, and not even me walking by was going to disturb him. In fact, I couldn't believe his stamina...hardly taking a breath between songs. He continued on for over 10 minutes as I watched, feeling honored to be able to see this so up-close-and-personal. He varied his song a bit, as well as his direction...to ensure all the airwaves around him were slathered with his melodious tune. It was quite a show, and with the slight chilly spring breeze, he breast was puffed up to both show-off his colors and possibly stay just a bit warmer.
It is moments like these I remember how lucky I am to love nature and be able to get out into it, not only for work but in my free time. It makes the less-fun portions of the day seem worthwhile and inspires me to continue in whatever path I'm on. So, I say "Thank You, Mr. Meadowlark." And remind everyone to get outside. Take a walk, enjoy a bike ride or a hike, listen for the frogs or the birds or the whisper of the wind. I can bet you that nature will make it worth your time.