Posts Tagged ‘Sight’

What We See

Besides always looking — and seeing — birds, they have become my favorite subject to paint. — Great horned in a tree by Pat Bean

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” — Mark Twain

And What We Don’t

I was out driving around Tucson the other day with my friend Jean when she spotted a garage-sale sign.  She usually sees three or four every time we go out together while I see zero. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that she likes garage sales and I don’t.

Also my favorite subject to photograph. — Great Blue Heron at Brazos Bend State Park in Texas photo by Pat Bean

My thoughts about this oddity touched my memory of a day back before I became an addicted bird watcher. I was riding in a van with seven members of HawkWatch, an organization whose goal is to protect raptors. They were going to check on hawks flying over the Goshute Mountains, and I was tagging along as a reporter doing a story on HawkWatch.

We were driving on Interstate 80 through the Bountiful Salt Flats between Salt Lake City and the Nevada border, and every few minutes one of my fellow passengers called out sighting of a bird, most often a red-tailed hawk or a turkey vulture.

This seemed strange, as I had driven this same, desolate route many times and had never spotted a bird. It then got stranger. After we left the highway for an unpaved backroad, one of the guys in the van yelled: “Stop! There’s an owl in that cottonwood tree.”

The driver stopped, and all of the guys oohed over the owl, which they had quickly identified as a great-horned. Even after one of the men pointed out to me where the bird was sitting, it took me a couple of minutes to actually see it. But when I did, its giant yellow eyes popped open and it stared straight at me. “Wow” was all I could think as we piled back in the van. I was changed forever. After that, I started seeing birds everywhere. Now I can’t not see them.

Thinking about this, as Jean suggested we might want to check out the garage sale, I realized how blind we can be to the world around us, simply because we’re not interested.

Perhaps, along with walking in another person’s shoes once in a while, we should also try looking at the world through another person’s eyes. There is no telling what we will see.

Bean Pat: Winter visitors https://cindyknoke.com/2018/12/04/the-canadians-are-coming/ From Canada.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion Pepper. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder and is always searching for life’s silver lining. Check out her book Travels with Maggie, available on Amazon, to learn more.

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