Monday, March 10, 2008

for the birds

Waiting for the bus this morning, I got too close to the curb and was rewarded with giant mud spray up and down my pants.

After work, I got the bug to walk home. It’s only 3.5 miles as the bike flies, but it seemed to take forever. And there was enough of a lake side breeze to offset any temperature gains. 31 F, in any event, is not spring-like, though I suppose the Inuit may feel differently about that.

002 copy

A reader tried to inspire in me hope by writing about the birds that she heard each morning now in the dog park. Birds. That would be good. Listening to birds may send me soaring.

My first sighting was at the campus Centennial Gardens, but it was “only” of sparrows and I had to step over the encrusted in snow leftovers from last season’s gardens to get close to their chirpiness. Lots of pain for very little gain.

During the entire stretch of path along the lake I witnessed no birds at all. Oh, sorry, ducks count. But even these appeared checked out for the day, all huddled into their own feathers.

014 copy

One took to the water and displayed a gutsy side, but the rest just sort of ignored him.

013 copy

Finally, walking through Shorewood, I saw a cardinal. In a gray thicket. Unmistakable splash of crimson.

018 copy

I was coming closer, just to say hi…

022 copy

…but a garbage truck rolled up the street and spoiled the moment. The bird flew off, the truck heaved forward and I resumed the cold walk home.