We took our first camping trip of the year at the Pawnee National Grasslands. That area is supposed to provide a magnificent night sky and we went in hopes of seeing the meteor shower. Turns out we didn’t put much effort into the sky because the high winds made it unpleasant. So unpleasant, in fact, that we came home a day early.
The good news is, there was a lull in the wind on Thursday evening and we walked the trails around the Crow Valley Campground. The lighting was divine as birds serenaded us. Here’s a Red-winged Blackbird in song:
And here’s an American Robin singing as it perches on the fence next to a couple of the MANY tumbleweeds in the area (which I either leapt over or plowed through when running on the trails the next morning):
Here’s a Western Meadowlark singing its heart out:
This last one–Turkey Vulture– was silent, but it was a thrill when Zippy spotted it because on our maiden voyage last April, a whole bunch of Turkey Vultures roosted above our campervan.
Others may disagree, but I consider a Turkey Vulture sighting a good omen for the coming camping season.
Today the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued what is basically its final warning to governments (“it’s now or never” regarding greenhouse gas emissions), and my heart is pounding as I type those words. We the people need to rise up and demand radical action. Unfortunately, here in the U.S. our so-called leadership is actually talking about ramping up fossil fuel production. It’s insanity.
And when reality gets to be too much, I turn to nature. Today, it’s birds. Here’s a Limpkin I had the honor of communing with at Kapok Park in Florida:
May 6, 2019
Here’s a petite Bushtit outside my Colorado window:
September 24, 2021
Here’s a Turkey Vulture doing its important clean-up work in Cave Creek Canyon in Arizona:
May 15, 2019
Finally, here’s a Common Grackle singing its song in Nebraska clover:
June 2, 2020
And now I’m going to use the energy I’ve borrowed from those wonderful birds and head out for a run on the trails where I’ll drink up more of this glorious world.
Turkey Vulture in Cave Creek Canyon. 5.15.19. Photo by Zippy.
Ever have one of those days when it feels as if vultures are circling? Yeah, me too.
I’ve been at my standing desk all afternoon and I think I’d best get moving so I’m not mistaken for carrion.
We had a great birding day today, in large part because we joined up with Friends of Cave Creek Canyon volunteers who know their birds. It was lots of fun and very informative. However, we didn’t need any help identifying this big bird:
Photo by Zippy