Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Two Moments

Yesterday the wind gusted so, that I stayed in the house all day, even though the sun was shining. When I stepped out to refill the bird bath, the wind had such a bite in it I was reluctant to venture forth again. And so it was I spent the day entering data into eBird, which I finally took the time to sign up with. Since I keep bird lists of all my birding expeditions it wasn’t hard for me to find data, it was just hard to take a break. With the information I have entered so far I have discovered that since moving to Arizona I have seen 111 birds!

After a long day at the computer the sun finally set and I went about the house shutting the shutters and turning on the lights. As I went to close the shutter by the front door my eyes caught a movement on the other side of the glass. I stopped and peered between the slats as a little Rock Wren hopped and bobbed about along the sidewalk leading to the front door. My house is of the style where the garage sticks out on one side and the front bedroom on the other forming a sort of tunnel or hallway to the front door. Here the little gray bird searched the perimeter for crickets. He hopped towards me, eyes alert, pointing his thin beak up and down the walls and along the cracks. Its fluffy under tail covets bounced with each step like a ballerina’s tutu or a square dancer’s petticoats. I watched with delight for the few minutes the bird was there, and then he hopped around the corner and was gone.

Just before I went to bed I stepped out the front door into the cold of the night to see if I could find the moon. I had heard on the news that Mars and the moon were going to be right next to each other tonight and I thought I would like to observe that phenomena. Well, I should have stepped out sooner, for in the clear diamond strewn sky the moon was not to be found. Then I noticed a bit of a glow behind one of the rooftops to the west. I walked down the sidewalk to get a better view and there dangling over the desert was a Cheshire cat smile glowing tangerine. I suppose Mars was somewhere around, but all I saw was the soft glow of an almost half moon right before it dipped below the western horizon. I went back into the house with a smile on my face, glad that I had taken a moment to step out the front door.

Once inside it occurred to me that the two best moments of the day were the Rock wren and the moon. I may have 111 birds so far for Arizona alone, but knowing that did not make the moon more beautiful or the Rock Wren more sweet. It was those two moments when I paused to see what nature had to offer me that really made my day.

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