Summer offers a lot of opportunities to get outdoors and simply sit a while to observe what is nearby. Sometimes that means finding wildlife right in your backyard. Other times, if you’re lucky, you spot birds wading just off a bike path,
perched over the bike path, or hanging out near the lake.
Recently I was invited to observe birds getting banded by a local group,
and got the chance to see some birds very close up.
What an education. I am a bird-enjoyer and no expert, but am always interested in learning more about the creatures who live right around us, some seasonal visitors, while others stay here year round. Bluebirds have in the migrated south, but more appear to be staying year round.
And while they seem to be thriving, the circle of life persists.
We heard some chirping noises the other day, and soon realized some mother turkeys and their little ones were traveling through the yard, and not happy about getting close to our cat, sunning himself in the outside ‘catio” (which keeps him from killing most birds, except the ones foolish enough to fly inside his enclosure).
And then there was the young buck, whose antlers were still covered in velvet. He checked out the blackberries in our backyard,
but then wandered slowly off, finding little of interest to him near the house.
We are lucky enough to live right near a lake, and a cool morning was the perfect time to get out on the lake to spy turtles,
and check up on the red-winged blackbirds that settle in for the summer.
I struggle with the heat throughout the summer, but these moments of grace, being allowed to peer into the lives of wild creatures who share the world we live in, make the hot summer days more than manageable. May you find much to enjoy in the long, hot days of summer. As with every season, it will not last.
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, More Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, and editor of Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed. Just out is her latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are.
She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress.