Tuesday, June 07, 2005

With new eyes

I never would have imagined that my despised community college would prove such a copious haven for birds. I snatch any available moments each day to look at and enjoy the fauna on campus. Of course, sparrows, chickadees, grackles, cardinals, jays, and scissortails are always plenteous. The Western Kingbird was my most recent discovery. On Monday, I heard another bird to add to my ever-growing plethora of companions. Several birds exchanged shrill whistles from the rooftops of campus. I hadn’t brought binoculars, so I strained my eyes to observe this new species, resolving to bring my optics the next day.

Today I rushed out of class, the Romantics and their literature swirling in my head, and listened for the whistle. Success. I would soon be acquainted with another bird. I raised my binoculars and gazed. Striped throat, gray back, long legs. Grabbing my tuition receipt and a pen, I jotted down what I saw.

Then it flew. I caught my breath, all previous aims for merely checking a bird off of my list dissolved. The bird sailed, effortlessly, wings swept back in graceful ease. I saw a stroke of watercolor-white upon each wing and a flash of yellow on the tail. When it landed I admired more deeply the sharp black-and-white collar and the alert, vigilant posture.

Sibley said the bird was a Killdeer. I remember Bolt pointing those out on my very first day birding. For some reason, though, I have no recollection of the birds themselves. I remember a few birds grouped on the ground; my notes merely read, “The one on the ground. It had black and white stripes on the front.” Nothing remarkable. Nothing noteworthy. Today was different though. I don’t know what made the difference. I do know, however, that today I saw -- truly saw -- with my own eyes.


At June 10, 2005 2:11 AM, Blogger Michaela said...

Yes, my dear. You are indeed a wonder.

: ) And I'm pretty sure the uncapitalized master isn't the only one proud.

At June 13, 2005 7:26 AM, Blogger Lynn said...

Whether it's the first or the fortieth time, Killdeer are such fun to watch. They're pretty in flight, too. I remember also being surprised at the variety of birds one with open eyes could find at LeTourneau--though it was not thus despised. : )

At March 06, 2006 4:49 AM, Blogger Simon Langer said...

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At March 06, 2006 7:03 AM, Blogger Eddie said...

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