I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from the blog. Mostly because my lens on the world has temporarily narrowed focus. I spend my days and nights with Dylan and I’m absolutely loving it. But I didn’t start this blog to bore people with the minutiae of caring for an infant. I started it to help myself feel less restless now that I travel less, to find adventure in the commonplace and to see new things in the places I return to day in and day out.
Having a baby qualifies, in many ways, as the ultimate adventure. And finding the wonder in repetition, when your child wants the same book read seven times a night, or when you’re changing yet another dirty diaper, can be a challenge, or so I’m told. Perfect for this blog’s mission. But right now I’m filled with constant wonder and emotion. Every yawn, every smile, every hour spent watching his sleeping face feels like a miracle. Just singing him a lullaby, one of the ones my parents sang to me, gets me choked up. And I think it’s newsworthy to report each inch grown or pound gained. (He’s nearly 14 pounds now. See?)
So I have no perspective. Or rather, I have only this one very narrow perspective. So I’m holding back until I reach more equilibrium.
To that end, though, I do have a couple of bird sightings to report. When it’s warmer than about 20 degrees outside (today doesn’t qualify) I can take Dylan out into the woods. And sometimes I am able to tear myself away from the baby and head into the woods alone with Oliver. The reservoir we walk around is frozen over but there’s still some activity. A hundred or so ducks have been hanging around in the swamp. Their annoyed honking when Ollie gets too close and forces them into the air is worth heading outside for. And the other day I spotted the resident kingfisher perched on the limb of a dead tree. I didn’t realize kingfishers hung around for the winter.
We have a tree next to our house that sprouts bright red berries that last through the winter. I think it’s a hawthorn tree. When we moved in, our neighbors, who actually built the house, told us that once a year a flock of cedar waxwings descends on the tree and strips it bare. It’s so much fun to catch the invasion and this year it happened last week. The waxwings were joined by a gang of robins and together the two groups had all the berries devoured in 36 hours.
And, finally, there have been more snowy owl sightings this year, all up and down the eastern seaboard. One owl has been hanging out at the Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in Addison, about twenty or thirty minutes from our house. It seems like everyone I know has gotten a glimpse of this specimen, except me. Adrian and I shoved Oliver and Dylan in the car last week to go have a look but the owl wasn’t in residence. But on Friday I was passing through the area and detoured over to Dead Creek and there it was! There were five or six other cars stopped, and some photographers with very long lenses. I didn’t even have my good camera with me so I just watched it for a while. Magnificent.
This is the tree it was in, right by the road, and conveniently next to the snow goose viewing area, so the cars have a place to park. This bird must like the limelight. Though I wonder if all the attention scares away its prey. I suppose it could always move if it wanted.
So there you have it, the extent of my adventures in nature. Now I have to go. It’s been an hour since I peeked in on Dylan, and gazed at him sleeping in his bassinet. Practically an eternity.