Posts Tagged ‘weathering a storm’

 “Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn’t people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them – Rose Kennedy

Bluebonnets at Lake Colorado City State Park survive a stormy night to carpet a picnic site beside the lake. ... Photo by Pat Bean

Day Six


The bird seed I threw around my camp site at Lake Colorado City State Park attracted a dozen species of birds. My favorites were the curved-billed thrashers and the northern cardinals. Several pairs of these birds, most likely in a courting act, fed one another. In the case of the cardinal, because of the differences in feather color, I knew it was the male feeding the female. I couldn’t tell the sexes of the curved bill apart but I assumed it was also the male doing the feeding.

The exchange of seed between the birds reminded me of French kissing.

One bird that didn’t partake of the seeds, but came to check it out from a tree-top seat was a magnificent Bullock’s oriole. I was sorry I didn’t have any oranges to slice and hang from the tree. Such offerings are one of the oriole’s favorite treats. Finding nothing to its liking, and after singing me a song, this glowing orange, black and white bird moved on.

Bullock's oriole ... Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

When not watching the lake and the birds out my RV window, I took frequent short walks with Maggie, did some writing, and read Catherine Watson’s “Home on the Road,” all the while keeping a watch on a dark, angry sky. I expected it to lash loose its fury at any moment, but it waited until the middle of the night to unfetter its bonds.

While I love storms, and listening to rain pitter-patter on my motor home’s roof is usually a pleasant symphony, the intensity of this one had my RV dancing a wild polka. Instead of a joyful tune, it was a discordant composition in which clashing cymbals and strobe lighting took center state. . When a lightning bolt struck only 10 feet away – or so it sounded – Maggie, who normally ignores storms, abandoned my feet and curled up next to my fetal-position curled stomach. I was glad for the comforting feel of her soft fur next to body.

I hoped my birds had found safety, and assumed they had when they showed up beside standing puddles of water early the next morning to eat my seed offering. While they had merely picked at the seeds yesterday, today they were gobbling it up as fast as they could. I was glad I could help them recover energy from what had been a wild stormy night.

Lake Colorado City State Park birds: Brewer’s blackbird, red-winged blackbird, eastern bluebird, bobolink, northern cardinal, mourning dove, house finch, scissor-tailed flycatcher, common grackle, great-tailed grackle, Cooper’s hawk, red-tailed hawk, killdeer, northern mockingbird, Bullock’s oriole, eastern phoebe, roadrunner, northern shoveler, house sparrow, lark sparrow, rufuous-crowned sparrow, song sparrow, vesper sparrow, white-crowned sparrow, Eurasian starling, barn swallow, rough-winged swallow, tree swallow, curved-bill thrasher, sage thrasher, tufted titmouse, turkey vulture and Bewick’s wren

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