Monday, January 30, 2012

Do you hear what I hear?

 This has been a luxurious, soft winter (except for one frigid week that, fingers crossed, didn't do my garden in). I have spent a lot of time on the trails in and around my beloved ravine that borders my neighbourhood. I usually have my phone with me, so I've been taking some pics with it. (The quality isn't great but I do have fun playing with them in the various apps that allow me to texturize them and add effects). Today was an exceptional day to be out and about so I did it twice. Once very early in the morning and once in the afternoon while the gorgeous men in my house napped. :)

The wildlife have been loving life this winter, too. I have seen deer, rabbits, weasels (pure white with a black-tipped tail!), squirrels and some overwintering birds that should be long gone. I've been walking, running, meandering, and just plain enjoying every minute of it. After last winter (think Mordor bleak) we deserve every minute of this wonderful year.

My favourite thing is the birds. Go figure. Normally, I like to get onto the secondary paths, the deer trails if you will, where it is quiet and I can listen to the birds chatter with each other and check me out. Chickadees have absolutely no shame, you know.

Today, however, I didn't have to go looking for the birds. Early this morning, great clouds of Bohemian Waxwings descended on my neighbourhood and into the ravine, where they reeled and rose and fell enmasse all day. I couldn't stay away. At times, I had clouds of them move past me so low that I could feel the vibration of their wings thrumming. It made me laugh. I remembered my final exam in an anthropology class, Preliterate Religions, where I had to write my own religion. I remember that my religion was very pantheistic. While that may have been a very simplistic approach, I still do feel a deep connection to joy and a sense of transcendence when I am awed by nature. I think that is why I want to go sea kayaking in the Queen Charlottes before I die. ANYWAY, I was awed today. I went down one of my favourite deer paths to settle in on a fallen tree and listen to the hub bub all around me. The jays were out of sorts, the ravens had to have a *talk*, the chickadees were having a great tweet-up, and a Coopers hawk flew silently by at shoulder height through the trees about 15 feet from me. The Bohemians were causing quite a stir.

I know it's still winter and spring is further away than it feels, but, dammit Jim, it felt like the world was alive today. Can a girl fall in love with a small bit of urban forest? Hope so, because I think I swooned a little today. In fact, I was speechless.

EDIT: Here is the link to a herky-jerky video I took with my phone. If you turn it up you can hear the amazing sound filling the sky.

“In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.” ― Robert Lynd

EDIT: Feb. 5: HBG, this pic is for you. It is an awful photo, taken with my phone, of the weasel peeking out of one of the many "doors" of the burrow he ran to. He was fascinated by me. I was a little scared of him actually because I had one chase me, then charge me again, as I was crossing a bridge in the ravine last summer. My ankles felt conspicuously bare as he ran towards me. :)

Weasel in the winter when there was no snow to hide