Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Fish Gotta Swim and Birds Gotta Fly

I had an epiphany last week. It's about fishing. I've never gone fishing. I like being on a boat, but I don't have any urges to fish, especially not catch-and-release. I can actually understand the draw of fishing for dinner, but the other? Well, I didn't really get it. Until last week.

In the past couple of years, since having put out bird feeders, I have become increasingly interested in birds. Since moving into this house, I actually joined the Facebook group Birds of Texas, where there are more experienced birders than I who are happy to identify birds when I am unable to do so. In our yard here, I have seen: House sparrows, house finches, Carolina wrens, Carolina chickadees, doves, cardinals, red-bellied woodpecker, painted bunting, black-chinned hummingbirds, and turkey vultures. It's interesting: I haven't seen nor heard any Mexican scrub jays, which were all over the place at the apartment in Oak Hill. I also haven't seen a roadrunner in our yard, though I've seen them in the area, including one that walked past our house in the street every day for a week or two. I felt like he was going to work, then coming back home with a lizard for the family.

Anyway, my parents moved to Temple earlier this year, and they live in an area with so much new construction that there aren't any mature trees. They put out a feeder, though, and are being inundated with visitors. When we were up there last week, I went to sit outside to see what birds I could see. Also, it was 100 degrees and about 70% humidity.

At any rate. I pretty quickly saw a dove sitting on their next-door neighbor's roof.

Weird-o.

Then, I saw a couple of pairs of house sparrows and house finches.

Bathing.

You rang?
I also saw some grackles flying around in the area, but they never landed in my parents' yard.

If you've never watched birds before, they do this thing where they'll end up trickling into the same area, they'll all hang out for a while, then every single one of them gets a telepathic memo or something, and they all take off.

At one point, I was sitting there, staring off into space, waiting for the birds to come back. I thought, "Ha. I'm sitting out here in the heat, waiting to see more birds. Common birds. And I'm not sure when they'll be back..." Then I realized: I WAS BASICALLY FISHING. Just without the water. And I under no circumstances intended to eat any of these for dinner. My cats might have a different take on that.

But I felt a camaraderie with people who enjoy fishing just for the sport of seeing what you can catch, and enjoying the still silences (boredom) between active moments.

Also, bird-watching probably means I'm getting old, a fact that next month's birthday would tend to confirm.

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