Two days after Katie flew free we had company. My brother and sister arrived for a visit that was planned weeks before we knew Katie wouldn’t be here to greet them.
It was a good distraction, to have additional people here in the house. The days were filled with activities and meal preparation. I told stories about my girl, and cried when I needed to. It was nice to have extra people around who knew and loved her.
Of course we went out to Kensington to see the birds. The heron rookery was filled with teenagers waiting for their parents to show up with food. They’ll soon be off on their own.
And then we wandered a few of the trails looking for hungry little birds to come down for a treat.
We were later in the day than I generally visit, and I wasn’t sure what we’d find. Little did I know the park would be teeming with wildlife. At the beginning of our walk we came across an assertive raccoon.
Another walker told us she had been fed by people (against the rules) and was now stalking guests. We tried to run her off, because there were small children present. But it was difficult to get away from her.
Finally we took a different path away from the other people and not far down that path we witnessed a great battle. We first heard the sound of a wound up sandhill crane very close.
Then we saw the action begin.
We think the crane couple had a nest, or perhaps a young one, and the turkey was intent on getting too close. The crane was intent on not letting that happen.
As we stood there, me with a camera lens that was too long because they were so close to us, the battle moved from the field to the path we stood on, and then into the woods. And back again.
It was very loud, mostly the crane screaming at the turkey.
But the turkey was stubborn too. Each time the crane thought he had banished the turkey, and began to walk calmly back to his family, the turkey followed him, and the battle began again.
It got quite brutal.
There were the three of us and one other woman essentially trapped on the path, snapping pictures. I never took time to reset my camera settings for the low light and activity, so lots of images are out of focus.
Still you get the idea of the epic battle we witnessed. It was amazing.
When they finally settled down, we moved on.
Turns out even in the middle of the day there were lots of hungry littles out in the woods. Especially since we were on a less traveled path.
We had a few little birds follow us, and one larger male red-bellied that came down to visit us multiple times. That’s very unlike my typical experience where they usually act quite shy.
We had a lovely walk, the weather was perfect with dappled sun deep in the woods, and a slight breeze keeping the bugs at bay.
This park never fails to entertain. When I’m feeling blue I can always count on finding a smile out among the trees.
I hope you each have a place like this that mends your soul. I feel lucky to have mine.