Part 2 My summer, photography and wildlife…GoneFishin
As I took my coffee this morning to our back porch I sat to the faint sound of a crow. The sun was warm and the air crisp, as fall begins to move in.
I knew that when I left several days ago to travel to my brother’s wedding that on that day my last batch of baby sparrows was ready to fly. I knew that when I returned my yard would be quiet from all of the summer’s busy activity and that the sweet sound of chirping and the entertaining fluttering of wings would not greet me on my return. Yet, this morning I keep turning my head, looking, waiting and anticipating the pleasurable union of morning coffee and birds. It seems far too hushed. It is not that I am not ready for the fall, I love it. It is just that this has been my first summer as a “birder” and I have been amply filled with a different kind of joy than I have ever experienced. Hardly a day has gone by when I have not “gone fishin”...a phrase I have named my latest passion for bird photography.
Several weeks ago a friend, whom I have written about before, showed me her split avocado seed. She said to me “Look at this. How can anyone not marvel at Gods creation?” Her seed was perfectly split in half with the male part on one side and the female part on the other side. She found it fascinating how intricate and organized God’s work can be.
In many ways it is like my bird summer. The wonder of it all… God’s creation.
I will never forget the day that it all began. My husband mentioned that a red cardinal had just crossed our yard. As I looked I grabbed my camera and snuck around the house. The cardinal was nowhere to be seen. I stood waiting when I noticed motion in front of our porch in the bushes. Just then the cardinal flew out. I looked and saw nothing but I was curious as to why he had been in them. I then entered our porch and as I looked through the window, there it was just 2 feet away… a nest with 4 fledgling cardinals. I was smitten immediately! The next 48 hours changed my entire summer.
I know more about birds today than I ever have. I have watched observed and gotten lost in them. In some ways I feel it has been a gift. With the world on fire and so much to be genuinely concerned about this dear hobby of bird watching has brought me solitude. It has given me an opportunity to practice and learn more on my camera, to visit and talk to people along the way and to have a sense of peace in spite of all the tribulation.
One day as I thought about how I was feeling, I thought this must be how a fisherman feels, lost in the water, the quiet, the reflections and the distant sound of wildlife. I thought about how I had never just done something because I enjoyed it. I thought how I hadn’t really taken the time to observe God’s creation, to ponder how nature works, lives and responds to His environment. I always sort of shrugged my shoulders at “those” nature people. Many who I have visited with were not Christians, but as a Christian I should more fully embrace what He has given us...that which He created in the world. My bird watching has caused me to consider the sun, sky, ocean, rivers, thunder, lightning and the seasons. I have reflected on the book of Genesis and how marvelous Eden must have been and how again in the future heaven will knock our socks off…Are there socks in heaven?
Did you know that some male birds make several nests and then take the female around to pick the one that suits her fancy? Or that many birds return year after year to the same familiar place? A person can actually plan and prepare for their arrival by adding to the garden and yard things that bring them pleasure. Did you know that yard birds are territorial and oust other birds from a birdhouse or nesting place? They defend their nest and fledglings from predators.
In our yard I observed that when birds are born many others gather around, chirp and get excited. They do the same thing when babies are ready to leave the nest. All at once there is a gathered flock, making all kinds of noise and letting everyone know…"Look out they’re ready to fly!"
It’s as though the local bird kingdom is proud and showing off…it is simple charming!