When last I left you I was being overrun by hungry birds. A few of them might even have been angry birds, but I don’t like to judge.
As I moved further into the woods I noticed I was being followed by lots of little birds. So I stopped again to see who was hungry. Naturally the titmice dropped down immediately.
And the chickadees, who were very noisy about waiting for their treats.
But most intriguing was a female red bellied woodpecker who was watching me while keeping some space between the feeding frenzy and her perch high in a tree. Yet…the longer I fed the little ones the closer she got. She’d move to a different tree and then feign indifference as she checked out her new position for any stray bugs. Then she’d move closer.
I decided to ignore her, turned my back and kept feeding the busy little birds. And suddenly …
She watched me for a bit, both of us seemingly holding our breath. Then she picked out her breakfast treat.
She went up to a nearby tree to eat her peanut, but she was right back for more.
Each time she visited my hand she flew off with her prize to enjoy just feet away.
She came down a total of three times, and I felt like we were becoming best friends. She chased all the little birds away each time she arrived. After her third trip I tossed some seed on the ground for her or anyone else and I moved along.
The little birds were grateful. The blue jays were jubilant, they’d been screaming about being left out for several minutes.
I kept playing with the settings on my camera, intent on catching the wing of the birds as they landed and took off again. Each time I fidled with the camera birds became impatient.
The blue jays followed me for quite awhile, picking up the leftovers.
And a male red bellied woodpecker followed me too. He wanted to come down for a treat. He’d get close, but couldn’t quite make himself do it. My shoulders ached from holding one hand out with seed, and the other hand holding the heavy camera ready just in case
I guess he figured I wouldn’t leave him out, and I didn’t. I always left him a couple peanuts on the trail.
Least you think I wasn’t paying attention to things other than birds, I assure you there were plenty of pretty things without wings.
It’s just that every time I concentrated on something else, every time I rested my tired shoulder and lowered my seed filled hand, someone would fly around my head in protest.
The day had started out cold and very windy, but as I wandered in the woods the sun broke through, and I warmed up. Trapising up and down hills while being pursued by birds warmed me up too.
I thought about sitting on a bench for awhile, just take it all in.
But there were more and more people wandering in the woods, and I had plenty of pictures to share. Plus, I’d been there a couple hours longer than the original few minutes I had planned on.
So I headed back toward the car…past the crane parking lot greeters who were now wandering down the path. They were much less interested in me than they had been when I arrived, when they almost mugged me for something to eat.
The sun was out now, the sky a brilliant blue. Part of me wanted to stay, but my shoulders and back ached. And since I had forgotten to eat breakfast before I left home, I was starving too.
I didn’t think the birds were going to give me anything to eat, so it was time to go. I had a wonderful time even if it wasn’t anything at all like what I had come to find.
That’s the cool thing about this park. No matter what you plan, no matter what actually happens, it’s always going to be beautiful.