Posts Tagged ‘black-headed grosbeak’

“For the man sound in body and serene of mind there is no such thing as bad weather; every sky has its beauty, and storms which whip blood do but make it pulse more vigorously.” – George Gissing

The late afternoon rain at Lake Walcott was merely Mother Nature's preamble for the night ahead. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

Mother Nature threw a hissy fit last night.

She began the day with ominous clouds playing with the sun, blew up gusts of wind about midday that tumbled my bike and lawn chair about, then drizzled a little rain in the late afternoon here at Lake Walcott State Park in Southern Idaho.

All was merely a preamble to the thunderous symphony she had in store as night fell over the park’s lush green landscape.

Her daytime mood hardly bothered the birds at all. Brown-headed cowbirds, black-headed grosbeaks, house finches, house sparrows, mourning doves, robins, killdeer, starlings, and one northern flicker continued to eat my birdseed or flit about just outside my RV window.

But hopefully they were tucked away some place safe when Mother Nature discarded her lamb’s persona for a hungry lion’s roar.

The rain pelting on the roof of my wind-rocked RV sounded like Thor was frantically beating overhead with his hammer. The trees around me, spotlighted by lightning flashes, swayed deeply to the frenzied beat of surround-sound thunder that came in rolls.

This black-headed grosbeak is a regular visitor to my campground site. -- Photo by Pat Bean

My canine traveling companion, Maggie, is not one to be afraid of storms, but for this one she decided she wanted to curl up next to me on the couch where I was reading “A Sense of the World” by Jason Roberts. It’s the true story of James Holman, who despite being blind became one of the world’s greatest travelers during the early 1800s.

Its seemed an appropriate book for me to be reading during the storm, although I did more watching the disharmonious, strobe-flashed world out my window than I did absorbing the words on the page of my Kindle.

The sightless Holman, who used all his remaining senses to experience the world, would have loved this storm.

And so did I.

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Maggie leads the way during our Ogden Mountain bench trail hike ... Photo by Pat Bean

“True friends are the ones who never leave your heart, even if they leave your life for awhile.” Author unknown

Days 22-25

Catching up with the lives of old friends and renewing my bond with the Wasatch Mountains has kept me busy the past few days.

The Wasatch Mountains wore a misty hat the day we hiked the Ogden River Parkway ... Photo by Pat Bean

On my first full day in town, my friend Kim and I hiked an Ogden Mountain bench trail, one that held many memories for me. The mile and three-quarter loop was one I walked many afternoons to shake off the stress of my city editor job at the Standard-Examiner. 


Yellow and purple wildflowers brightened the trail this day, while scrub jays, black-headed grosbeaks and western kingbirds followed our passage. The scrub jay and grosbeak were the first for my annual bird list. Western kingbirds had followed me all the way from Texas to Utah.

A couple of days later, after a rainy day that left the mountain trails muddy, Kim and I hiked the Ogden River Parkway. We began the paved trail at Monroe Boulevard and followed it for a mile and a half to the mouth of Ogden Canyon. Western bluebirds, western kingbirds and mallards trailed along beside us.

Mallards along the Ogden River Parkway ... Photo by Pat Bean

Rainbow Gardens, both a gift shop and a restaurant, marked the end of the parkway, enticing us to stop awhile to browse and eat  before walking back to our vehicle. When my mother had been alive, this was her favorite place in Ogden to eat.  She always ordered the Gabby Crabby. I ordered the same in her memory.

From hiking, to staying up late one night drinking Jack Daniels and chatting in rapid pace with my friend Kim, to revisiting the newspaper where I worked for 25 years, to eating at familiar places, this visit seemed to be all about memories.

I’m glad I’m still making them. The past can be a pleasant place to revisit, but it’s not a place to live.

Copyrighted by Pat Bean

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