For me the highlight of any trip to Montezuma NWR is a Sandhill Crane sighting. This wasn’t the most we’ve seen on a visit, but it certainly beat the weather last time — temps barely above freezing, howling wind, and occasional blinding horizontal snow squalls.
On this day, though, conditions were ideal, at least meteorologically. Road conditions, though… not so much. The birds were hanging out at Knox-Marsellus Marsh so we turned onto the dirt Towpath Road. The last time I was there it wasn’t bad so we headed down optimistically. Well, that didn’t last long. A few potholes, then more, and soon they turned into muddy pits across the entire road. I got tired of scraping the sides of the car so we decided it was wiser to park and walk the last half mile in.
And when we finally got there:
I love the one lying down like a long-necked hassock.
I get so excited seeing 14 Sandhills –my heart would fly right out of my chest if I ever saw a sight like this!
How to eat a summer peach:
first rub it tenderly
exfoliate the fuzz
then stroke the baby skin softness
against your lips and take
a tiny bite
releasing the nectar
slurp the sunwarm flesh down
to the last sweet threads on the pit
and lap up the juice
running down your wrist.
On this day, as on all others, I’m thankful for all things avian.
Thanks to the bird who gave its all today. You were delicious.
Thanks to the bloggers and photographers, the philosophers and field-guide writers. You help me see — more, you help me observe and learn about birds and from them. You show me intimate details, grand spectacles and 10,000 birds outside my little world.
Thanks to my fellow birders who generously share their time and expertise. Rarae aves, the whole flock of you.
Thanks to the birds-of-my-yard who entertained me though the kitchen window while I chopped and sautéed. I hope you enjoyed your feast, too.
And thank you all, all feathered life. May you fly and swim and hoot and sing and bring us generations of wonder and beauty, world without end.