May 05, 2010

For the Birds

Elo and I have been hitting the fields and woods of Deming-Young Farm in Newington pretty regularly. On quiet days (weekdays, off hours), I let Elo off the leash - he trucks ahead on the mown path until I call him back, at which point he backtracks and then trots ahead. We walk to the end of the field, take a short hike up the hill and into the woods, emerging at a soccer / lacrosse field of a nearby middle school. If the field is empty, we play a few rounds of fetch the tennis ball (which I can really toss with the Chuck-it) and then back through the woods and into the fields, circling the field back to the car.

Other than dogs and their owners (the place is a real dog walking magnet) the fauna most evident are the birds. The field is reportedly kept long to abet the nesting of the endangered Bobolink, although I have yet to catch glimpse of one of these. But I have seen many common robins, a surprising number of beautiful red-winged blackbirds, an occasional cardinal, and swarming tree swallows, which make me think of the embattled bat as they hunt insects in the late afternoon.

I have yet to start working to identify the bird calls, but it's only a matter of time. It's quite peaceful and wonderful walking in the mornings and evenings as the birds are most active, but there are calls and flashes of wings pretty much all the time.

This afternoon, on our walk, I pondered the concept of birds as the survivors from the age of dinosaurs, and imagined this world in the next era - we homo sapiens having burned ourselves out and those patient birds, waiting in the wings, and perhaps returning to their past dominance.

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