Abundant sunshine, a gentle breeze with temperatures not too hot and not too cold. That was my weekend on Roundtop Mtn. I was outside as much as I could be, nosing around, looking here and looking there, just seeing what I could see. I was rewarded with more than a few good sightings.
For the first time in years, I actually got to see a yellow-billed cuckoo! Cuckoos are never common, but each year I hear one or two residents, calling from all around the mountain. Often I think it’s one cuckoo, traveling from one tree to the next around the cabin. Cuckoos are notorious for being hard to see, partly because they don’t bounce around like some other birds and partly because they seem to make an effort to stay under cover. That’s a bad combination for someone hoping to see one, instead of just hearing it.
On Sunday on one of my many forays out the door, I suddenly heard the call of a very close cuckoo. I didn’t have binoculars and wasn’t about to rush inside to find mine. Instead I stood in front of the cabin, trying to locate the source of the call. I could tell the call was coming from one of the tall white oaks behind the cabin but that covers a lot of trees. After a few more calls I was sure of the cuckoo’s general area but without binoculars (and perhaps even with them), locating a cuckoo in that mass of greenery was impossible. But then the cuckoo flew and for a brief second or two, I saw it as it headed further up the mountain to find another vantage point for its next round of calls. It’s always a banner day when I can see a cuckoo!
Red sky again this morning and storms are heading my way. It's a summer kind of thunderstorm, though the temperature is more modest than the thunderstorm weather of midsummer. That's not much consolation as the storm itself is just as severe as those of a month or so from now.
Did anyone get up/stay up for the meteor shower this past weekend? I set my alarm and got up, loading a lawn chair and Baby Dog into the car for the brief run up to the north parking lot. In my corner of the sky, the meteor shower was a bust--I didn't see a single one in the hour I was out. I did hear other areas of the country fared better and got a nice show. Ah, well, it will be time for the Perseid shower before I know it.