Delia at Beginning to Bird wanted to know everyone’s best bird-related memory in her recent post entitled “What’s Your Best 2007 Birding Memory?” I could not think of just one.
I always had interest in nature but spent most of my life dashing around to beat the clock and allowing myself to be dictated by the deadlines associated with the many hats I wore. Wife, mother, swim team parent and volunteer, board member, carpool organizer, full-time officer worker… Those were exhausting, fulfilling, and wonderful years but I didn’t have a favorite pastime or hobby. I guess you would say I’m making up for a lot of lost time. The following six events took place when I least expected them, during ordinary days in 2007. With each memory I share below, I still feel the surprise, grief, love, joy, and sadness.
The SWEETEST memory I have is the day I met a pair of Eastern Bluebirds, up close and personal.
I went as far as naming them Millie and Johnny and continued to watch them on campus for a few months while their house grew to family size.
The memory that caused me the most GRIEF was the day I found Johnny trapped inside our campus building.
Although a few of us were able to lead him outdoors, I remember being very angry at that bird because he entered the building twice within one week!
The most SURPRISING memory I have is discovering over a hundred Cedar Waxwings on the way to my hair salon.
I didn’t even know what bird I was photographing until I checked my field guides later at home. The Cedar Waxwing was a stunning, picture-perfect lifer on an otherwise boring day.
The most JOYFUL memory is the day I was able to rescue a Northern Mockingbird fledgling from a storm drain.
Yes, this is the one!
It was particularly gratifying when several people on the campus cared enough to pitch in and help me out. No one would have noticed that baby in trouble without my alert.
My most LOVING memory…
A five-month love affair I had with Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds. Nuff said.
My SADDEST memory…
We had a trusting relationship in the spring and early summer of 2006. They sat on the front porch with me and raised five little Barn Swallows. She came back last April at the very moment I held her nest in my hands to give it a good cleaning after a brood of house finches left. In my mind’s eye, I can still recall the sight of her swooping back and forth, perhaps wanting to shoot darts at me, as she saw a step ladder in her corner and me, with her nest in my hands. She was ready to lay and I blew it. Bad timing and bad luck. After her nest broke into a few pieces in my hands, I made her a new one a week later. She never came back last spring and I’m still heartbroken about it. This tearful event made me wonder if my hormones started a raging fight with me. Oh, I wailed.
Oddly enough, my best memories aren’t noteworthy discoveries or stories of lifers. They are all best memories of having a connection or a brief relationship with a bird.
Do you have a favorite bird-related memory in 2007?