On Friday night my wife and I often take our children to a thing called “Dry Land Training” at our speed skating coach’s home. This involves a 30 minute drive followed by a two hour training session. Sometimes my wife and I stay to chat with other parents. Other times we go grocery shopping up the road. Last night we went for a walk at one of the local parks.
This is a typical park setting. With signage and info about the land. It was a beautiful stroll through extremely well kept trails. But there was one thing that made this park stand out amongst other trails in BC.
Birds. Lots of birds. And birdhouses!
On top of several pillars in the marsh were numerous birdhouses. Every single one of them occupied with a feathered friend. The houses that were close to the pathways had birds that weren’t scared of people wandering by. This made me happy. They watched and sang as my wife and I meandered along the pathways.
We chatted and strolled holding hands and just enjoying nature. We greeted only a couple of other folks along the way. It was like we had our own little private forest filled with song. It was a nice way to relax on a Friday evening with my wife.
I have a feeling we will visit the Silverdale Creek Wetlands again in the future. I hope that this will get others to visit there as well.
Yesterday I complained about rats in my post Screw Ratatouille. No complaints today. I want to talk about something more fowl. Birds. Stop with the dad jokes already.
Yesterday I discovered a woodpecker had made a new home in a dead tree near our house. A friend on Facebook mentioned that it is a Western Flicker. Most people would be all, “nice bird pic” but I find it cool that someone out there knew the exact breed.
Even though we have lots of trees, the birds usually find nests elsewhere. A favorite spot is on top of a wood carved sculpture we have near one of our back doors. Every year a red breasted robin makes its home there.
Even my derelict AT-ST had a nest on it. Birds just seem to be attracted to our man made art pieces. Seeing all of these birds finding shelter near our home is great. Sometimes they fly in and out of our home. But my favorite adventure with these birds was the time a hummingbird flew inside our home.
We left our doors open like we usually do in the summer. A stray hummingbird made its way into our dining room. It got trapped by our skylight. My wife devised a plan to cover the skylight with a blanket while I stood on our table and caught the bird in my hands. Its little heartbeat was going at a furious rate. I stepped outside and opened my hands to release it. The bird took a few moments, then flew off.
Birds are much more beautiful than rodents. It’s funny how the cuter an animal is, the less likely I want to kill it.
I love where I live- the outskirts of the suburbs on the fringe of the farming community. It’s peaceful and somewhat secluded, but still close enough to society that we can get where we need to go. Trees and animals are everywhere. Every other home has a large dog and we all greet each other as we walk around the neighborhood. It’s peaceful and serene.
Home amongst the trees.
Today, I was called for an early morning shift at work. Saturday mornings are doubly quiet in my neck of the woods. There was a fresh rainfall over night and the world was glistening with water droplets. The only sounds I could hear were the chirping of the birds as they awoke. Their songs echoed a serenade that I have enjoyed many times before.
In my later years as a teenager, nearly every night in the summer, we gathered together and enjoyed bonfires. We would head to a beach, or a campground or our favorite place that we called “The Dunes”. A procession of cars would be lined up down a dead end road and about twenty or more of us would cross the train tracks and hike up the sand hills. Armed with folding chairs, cases of beers, some firewood, & things to smoke- summer never felt like it was going to end. Most nights we would leave around 01:00am or so, but occasionally we would pull all nighters. On those nights, we would watch the sun rise and hear the sounds of the birds as they began to sing. I vividly remember my friend saying, “Just listen to mother nature’s orchestra.”
A bird in the hand…
Last year, a hummingbird
flew into our house and got trapped by the skylight. With some effort and help from my wife, I was able to carefully capture the bird and release it back outside. I held her gently in my hands and felt her heart racing against my palms. It was a surreal moment, feeling like I belonged in a Disney movie, as I opened my hands and the hummingbird took a moment to realize that she was being set free. I was one with nature at that moment.
Before the hustle and bustle of the daily grind- take a few moments one early morning (or really late night) and enjoy the sounds. Hearing the birds in perfect unison, calling out to each other in stereophonic sound is fascinating to say the least. Spring is in the air and summer soon to follow. Take a deep breath and remember that there’s more to life than just work.