In the space of just a few days, I’ve gone from maybe needing my headlamp, to needing my headlamp for the first few minutes of my morning walk with Dog, to needing the headlamp throughout Dog’s walk. The lessening of the daylight hours is perhaps the worst part about the coming colder weather. And the fewer opportunities to both see and hear birds.Already, I am beyond the time of seeing songbirds during our morning walks. This morning the avian companions started with the last call of a great horned owl, followed by an eastern pewee and then the crows. The crows found a sitting red-tailed hawk whose presence outraged them, but the hawk was experienced enough to not be intimidated. The crows eventually gave up. The last bird I saw before driving off the mountain was the eastern phoebe, another rather early riser.
Mornings with wood thrush and ovenbirds and the antics of chickadees are past already, except for the weekends. I miss that, though I am happy with the coming color change of fall and anticipate the crisp northwest breezes. Each season has its delights and it is those I miss when the year turns away from them. Before the new delights fully appear, I feel the need to mourn, briefly, for the ones that won’t return for another 300 days or so.
It’s a small sadness, but we never know how the year will turn or what our own personal landscapes will look like before the wood thrush and the ovenbirds come again. Perhaps nothing much will have changed. Perhaps everything will have changed. So for the next little while, or at least today, allow me to grieve this little passing.