Finding sanctuary in birds

Dear President Trump,

I’ve got to take a break today from you, Barr, Graham (hmm, where’s McConnell been lately?), and the Fox crew. You all are toxic and I’ve had it with you, so I’m going to write to you about birds.

Bird vignette 1. On my walk into work two mornings ago I spotted a crow sitting in a tree and another crow very awkwardly trying to land in the same tree, practically in the other crow’s face. It was really weird. And loud. I was reluctant to stop and stare because I didn’t want to attract untoward crow-attention (you might recall that period of time during which I was crow-enemy #1 in my neighborhood), but they seemed distracted so I looked long enough to figure out that they have a nest in that tree and that there are baby crows in that nest. Have you ever seen a crow’s nest? I hadn’t. I just looked up “crow nest” on Google images and all the pictures show fairly shaggy nests made of lots of twigs. The one I saw the other day might have some twigs in it somewhere, but these crows seem to favor dryer lint as a building material. They probably know what they are doing, but the structural integrity of their nest didn’t look so hot and I won’t be surprised to see sections of it on the ground next week. Hopefully their babies will fledge fast and they can make a sturdier nest somewhere else.

Bird vignette 2. This morning while brushing my teeth, I stood looking out the window at the still full reservoir (yay!) and saw a lone seagull make a swooping pass across the water. It then swung out into an arc to make another pass before gliding in for a landing and a short swim. There wasn’t anything spectacular or momentous at all, but it was beautiful to see and I’m glad it had this little body of (non-drinking) water available for a quick dip.

Bird vignettes 3 & 4. Also this morning I got to see a large pileated woodpecker vigorously hunting for insects on the ground among some leaves and on a fallen tree trunk. It was really going at it, flinging dirt and leaves everywhere. I wanted to go closer to get a better look, but was afraid I’d scare it off so just watched from about 75 feet away for 5 or so minutes. It had a gorgeous cardinal red crest and very cool ivory and black markings along its face. On the same walk I heard and then saw a little song sparrow. It tolerated having a fairly close-up audience (about 15 feet away) for a couple of minutes before flying off.

All in all, it’s been a very nice bird-filled few days.

May all of us, including the birds, be safe.
May we remember to make space for happy stuff.
May we take mental health breaks from the mayhem.
May we all know peace.

Tracy Simpson

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