Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A little bird....

Hail to thee, blithe spirit!
Bird thou never wert,
That from Heaven, or near it,
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

~Percy Bysshe Shelley


When we were walking the Limberlost Trail last weekend we were continuously on the lookout for birds, but it was very hard to catch sight of them, now that all the leaves are on the trees.  I am certainly not moaning as those same trees looked absolutely glorious.  

We would occasionally see a flit and a fly, a shadow of some little shape on the wing.  All along our walk something would land but in the next breath would disappear out of sight, and yet their  melodious birdsong was everywhere.  We passed other people with binoculars on their neck and I bet they could identify each sound.

Did you know that Teddy Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, was a birder?  As I read, he was devoted to natural history from childhood, particularly to birding and became an expert on identifying birds and their songs.  He kept detailed notes and descriptions about both in journals he kept in his youth.  It would have been nice to have Theodore on our walk with us, or at least his knowledge.

Gregg spotted the elusive bird and quickly took a photo, not really thinking he had actually caught it in his viewfinder.  So glad he did.  I'm thinking he is a Baltimore Oriole, what do you think?  Hard to tell I know.  I tried to crop the picture as close in as I could but am not sure.

Limberlost isn't too far from Big Meadows and we stopped there for lunch at the lodge.  The main dining room was closed but we made our way to the smaller restaurant on the lower level where we shared a sandwich and a salad.  On the way back to the car we popped into the gift shop as one of my friends had a birthday coming up and I thought it would be nice to buy her something from the area.  While I was in there the young lady behind the counter was keeping her eye on a chipmunk just outside the door.  Gregg had already gone outside and was busy trying to take its photo.  She said the chipmunk thought it was a regular customer and she often had to shoo it away because it had gotten inside a few times.   Obviously not as skittish as the ones we get at home.  She also said that she has had raccoons doing the same thing.  So they not only get the two legged customers, but also the four legged kind. As there was no air-conditioning the door was usually left wide open.  I said just as long as a bear didn't walk on in one day, at which she laughed.

It has been a lovely day today.  The temperature is around 61 degrees right now but I think it got up into the low 70s.  All the windows are wide open.  I popped up to the supermarket and later a friend stopped by for a bit of a chat.  Gregg just called and said he is on his way home, so I think I ought to get off here and start dinner.

Added note: Thanks to Eileen from Viewing Nature with Eileen, our bird is now identified as an American Redstart.   You can see and hear what he looks like if you click here.