Sunday, December 28, 2008

Rainy Day Birds

This morning, I headed to my sit spot without Ella. She wanted to stay with Daddy and read books. So I pulled on my fleecies, donned rubber rain boots, and goretex rain hat, and headed down the hill. It's rather drippy today, what with the constant weeping leak of light rain falling from the sky since yesterday. One thing I noticed, however, is how distracting the raindrops falling through the leaves are: I kept thinking I was seeing birds out of the corner of my eye. You could all try this, to see what it's like...just soften your gaze while outdoors in the rain. Make it so you are using all of your peripheral vision. Then notice movement! Let me know if you try it.

After I sat there a while, I got bored, and remembered that the dog smelled like fish two nights ago, so I decided to walk the creek and see if I could find a salmon carcass. The creek is bigger than yesterday, and more brown. I had to walk on the flat above it because in places the water was deeper than the tops of my boots. I tromped through the blackberry and stinging nettle, finding little mushrooms, or little rivulets I didn't quite know about. Eventually, I left the creek to head home, no spawning salmon to speak of.

I walked back the way we normally travel from our neighbor's house. About half-way back, I heard the feeding flock of birds I heard two days ago with Ella. They are a rowdy little bunch. It's Hutton's vireos, chestnut-backed chickadees, and sometimes sparrows, and probably others at times. Instead of walking up on them and causing them to scatter, I stopped, and turned my body aside, to communicate my passivity. They fed for a while on coyote brush (It is preparing to flower, and there are little tiny seeds at the base), poison oak (maybe there are insects on it?), and other brush. They slowly made their way closer, until one little brave vireo soul flew to a California hazelnut branch just three or four feet from me! I got such a lovely look at it! It was a treat. The rest of the flock was arriving into the bay across the trail, and I also got a really clear look at a chestnut-backed chickadee, who kept flashing the white stripes on the back of its head as it darted between and around branches. They sure brightened my foggy, gray day.

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