Sunday, April 29, 2012

Just a Sunday afternoon in spring

It's been a long time since I've posted here: sorry about that! My allergies have been in high gear for the last few weeks, compounded, alas, by a persistent sinus infection. As a result, I've spent little time online, except for doing stuff that absolutely had to be done. Today actually seems to be headache-free, probably for the first time in two or three weeks. In fact, I dared to visit the Lake Union Fill to look at birds this afternoon, thinking I'd probably be sake, for the sky is heavily overcast, the air very still, and the air so heavy with water that I swear I could feel tiny, invisible drops brushing my face. And lo, I didn't start sneezing, my eyes didn't run, and a headache didn't start up in my left eye! Yay!

We saw few ducks today (though we did see a spectacular cinnamon teal), but Vaux's swifts were to be seen everywhere, swooping and darting, red-winged blackbirds (of course), and--Great Blue Herons, in the most definite plural. My first sight was of one in a tree, then of several roosting in another tree. And of another one, which looked on the small size, standing in the reeds at the edge of the lake, darting forward and pulling a fish out of the water. That one then took to the air and flew off, to relocate in another set of reeds near the stadium, as we discovered when we continued our walk. We then saw another, much larger blue heron in the southwest pond, standing very still, peering down into the water. Everywhere across the expanse of the fill we passed photographers with huge cameras set on tripods-- a typical of any spring Sunday at the Fill. I heard various warblers, but never managed to actually see any. I was amused to pass a small boy shakily riding his bicycle followed by his father, jogging along behind him: a fortuitous arrangement that probably won't last more than a few months more, since even shaky as he was, the boy already had his father running at a good clip. A robin atop a thin trunk of a dead tree about twice as tall as I caught my amused attention because he wasn't perched on it, as one might expect, but lying on it such that he looked as though the trunk had been thrust through his breast. Since he was singing quite lustily, it was clear that no such thing had happened. We were getting out our cameras in the hope of taking his picture when he flew off, annoyed at us for staring at him.

Bird life in our own yard continues to be interesting. A Stellar's jay, beautiful even in profile, spends most of his time in the tree facing the windows of my office and also likes to forage in the turned-up garden plot in our back yard. The humming bird that visits our yard as part of its routine in the summer has begun making occasional appearances. And sometimes, in the morning, when I look out the window over the kitchen sink, I see black-capped chickadees perching in the kiwi vines below my neighbors' bay window.

I won't speak of the crows, the seagulls, or the geese. No doubt they consider themselves the city's true rulers. They can be seen--and heard-- everywhere.

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