Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Walktober 2021


As usual I had grand plans for Walktober. A place a couple of hours away was calling my name, but also as usual life got in the way and I can’t find a day when I can spend four hours to travel plus a couple hours of exploration.

So that adventure will have to wait for another time.

Pretty quiet at the heron rookery.

Meanwhile, it’s not that I haven’t had mini adventures right around here. Katie and I have wandered in plenty of parks this month. Any one of them would be a wonderful Walktober. But she already got to do her Walktober, and I wanted one of my own.

“Hey mama! I should be included in EVERY adventure!”

So I’ll share an adventure I recently had with a college friend I haven’t seen in many, many years. Since she retired from her career she’s become interested in birds; she’s joined birding groups online and is learning all kinds of cool things.

It was quiet enough to take a nap.

She’s seen my posts about the birds out at Kensington, and has never had a bird land on her hand before. She, like so many of you, wanted to experience that for herself. So we met out there on Wednesday.

So many choices.

I get such a kick, every time I take someone new out there, watching their face the first time a little bird lands on their hand. Every single person grins with such a quiet but intense joy.

Double the joy.

The little birds weigh next to nothing, they rest so lightly on the fingertips, you’re not sure they stopped there at all. It’s magic.

Grab and go.

So, we wandered the trails in the woods, stopping every time we heard the little ones chripping overhead, offering them special treats of peanuts and suet balls and black oilers.

I spent some time with the birds too.

Some of the birds were quite decisive, others took their time to select the perfect morsel.

“I think this seed will do.”

It was a wonderful walk in the woods, on a beautiful, perfect day. We even saw a bird new to both of us, a juvinile red headed woodpecker! We didn’t get a close look, but we saw him (or her?) flit through the trees several times.

Did you know a juvinile red headed woodpecker has a brown head? Me either.

What an extraordinary bird, so beautiful when it flies, with slashes of bright white across the back of it’s wings.

So even though I didn’t get to travel to the far-off park this time, I promise I’ll share it with you when I do. Maybe it will be in November. Maybe it will be in 2022.

The regulars were still in residence, even this late in the season.

It’s nice to have something to look forward to.

Thanks, Robin, for hosting this Walktober for all of us. It was wonderful to get out into the world and enjoy everything that October has to share.

“But next time make sure I get some treats too!”

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

44 thoughts on “Walktober 2021

  1. Oh, that last photo is too funny! Dawn, I was smiling reading about other people smiling with birds eating out of their hand. And they weigh next to nothing…I just cannot imagine! It must be absolutely magical.


  2. Oh Dawn, these are wonderful! (You might want to change your title… times goes by fast enough without us already being in 2022 😉 )
    I discovered feeding the birds myself. It is the coolest thing.
    Is that last one a heron of some sort! Love the red!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Dale! I wonder who else noticed! 🙂 I don’t know why I think it’s already next year, maybe it’s wishful thinking to leave some of this year behind. Not all of it of course! Thank you for letting me know!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hah! Maybe they’re more polite than I! But yeah, I won’t mind to see the end of this one. Hopefully 2022 will bring more good and freedom from this crazy almost two-year ride


  3. they are tardy for migration, aren’t they! I’ve noticed the same here. Usually the Summer birds are gone before the chickadees arrive, not this year.


  4. Oh, the wings on “grab and go”!! How beautiful. What a perfect photo. And yes, Katie, I’m with you … you should be included on everything that your mama does any where and any time. She needs a talking-to!


  5. What a treat to go on a walk with you and see so many birds! Proves you don’t have to go far to see lovely sights.


  6. I’ve yet to have the experience of hand-feeding birds. I can imagine how magical it is — thanks for sharing these encounters with us.


    • It’s a very special thing, and I’m thankful I am able to do it once in awhile. I think I could train my chickadees here at the house to come down. They want to, but are still a little wary.


  7. I didn’t know that a juvenile red headed woodpecker had a brown head– and that explains why I keep seeing and hearing what seems like a woodpecker, but doesn’t look like one. I’ve got a teenage woodpecker pecking on our trees. Now I know


  8. How wonderful to be able to do this!!!


  9. Dawn, what a magical Walktober you’ve shared! As I’ve told you before, I truly hope that one day, I’ll get to experience birds eating from my hand. I just can’t fathom how trusting (and hungry!) they must be to do that. And it looks like you had a perfect day for your walk, too.


  10. Looks like you had a wonderful Walktober without driving for four hours. Your photos are perfect – I think my favorites are the grab and go and the last one of the Sand Crane coming to see you.


  11. Such a joy to in nature.


  12. Wow the Sandhill cranes are beautiful! We can never get the birds to land on our hands…my head almost sometimes. I hope Katie is doing okay:)


    • Here at home they don’t come down to my hand either. Well, I did have a chickadee brave enough once to grab a seed from my hand after the feeders had been empty for several days. And there have been titmice that landed on my head when I was out on the deck reading, pulling my hair.


  13. Oh how these photos make me smile! Wonderful!


  14. You can feel the joy coming through the pictures you shared. I love those moments when birds alight on our hands–and it hasn’t been often. So nice.


  15. I know having to change your plans might have been disappointing, but I so love your posts that include feeding the birds from your hand. I have promised myself that I will get up your way so I can do this with you someday. Thank you, Dawn, for joining in again. 🙂


    • Thank YOU, Robin, for hosting! Yes, I was so set on going over to Grand Rapids to a sculpture park that I kept putting off writing a Walktober blog of any of my other walks. I wanted to do the sculpture park, and I will get there someday. But taking my friend to Kensington was pretty special too, even if I’ve written about the birds there before many times. Each time there is special and unique. Yes, you need to come up. After you’ve been visiting in Ohio, just come up for a couple days. We have a guest room with a queen size bed. And if you’d rather there are hotels too. Though if Katie is still around she’d like to meet you I’m sure. I think both of you would enjoy the experience…so bring M too.


  16. Your bird photography is stunning. Not an easy task. Yes, your part of the world is totally unknown to me and I would love to see a woodpecker in real life.


  17. Nice walking with you, Dawn.


  18. This is absolutely wonderful! Not only beautiful images, but also a wonderful day. You said it best – the joy on faces watching birds eat from their hand. Very similar to a butterfly landing on your hand. Innocent and genuine joy indeed. PS: Thanks for visiting my beach walk from Robin.


  19. I love the idea the idea of you hand feeding birds. You have plenty of incentive to get out.


  20. Great photos, Dawn and I think close to home is just as special as afar. Your bird shots are marvelous. I’ve never tried hand feeding wild birds, but it looks delightful. Maybe this year I’ll try it by my feeders!


    • Thanks! Feeding the birds at this park is easy because they’ve been fed for years. At home I can once in a great while get one chickadee or titmouse to do a ‘flyover’ if the feeders have been empty for a few days and the seed in my hand is the only seed available. I’ve had two chickadeeds over the course of a few years actually land for an instant to grab a seed. I think if I truly worked at it they’d eventually come down. They certainly aren’t shy and hang out while I fill the feeders, so they’re used to seeing me around. Good luck with your birds!

      Liked by 1 person

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