Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.



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.

I don’t suppose you have a peanut for me?

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.

Do you see the delivery guy? He said he’d be here in 20 minutes and that was an hour ago!

And then we wandered a few of the trails looking for hungry little birds to come down for a treat.

You know I won’t come to your hand, but I’d appreciate it if you drop a few treats for me along your way.

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.

Looking for lunch, people, give up your seed and no one gets hurt.

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.

Mama stands over in the tall grass as the battle began.

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.

The crane was relentless.

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.

You can’t hide from me, Turkey!

It was very loud, mostly the crane screaming at the turkey.

“Get moving out of here, you 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.

Yep, took care of him, he won’t come back this way again.”

It got quite brutal.

“Get back, I say!”

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.

“Take that!”

Still you get the idea of the epic battle we witnessed. It was amazing.

“Darn turkey. Can’t let your guard down a moment around here.”

When they finally settled down, we moved on.

“I’ll be back.”

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.

“Hey! Don’t forget about me!”

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.

“HI!!! I put on my best outfit to show up for a meal! What did you bring me?”

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.

My artsy-fartsy shot for the day.

This park never fails to entertain. When I’m feeling blue I can always count on finding a smile out among the trees.

Nature is amazing.

I hope you each have a place like this that mends your soul. I feel lucky to have mine.

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.

47 thoughts on “Distraction

  1. You really captured the drama playing out. I like the idea of a place to mend one’s soul.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You really captured the drama as it played out. I like the idea of a place to go to mend one’s soul. Much needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice to have such good company. That was some walk you went on, full of incident. I wonder why the turkey was pestering that crane? Very persistent. You certainly were in the right place at the right time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my gosh, Dawn. Your pictures are amazing and your captions, hilarious. Love, love, love this! What a fabulous outing. I am super jealous.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Looks like a great do in the woods, including an epic bird battle. Sorry, turkey, but I don’t think I’d need a Sand Hill Crane to tell me off more than once. Just saying…
    Glad you had a good visit. The timing couldn’t have been better.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The battle photos are wonderful. Go, mama crane! When I used to feed the cats on the front porch, I heard dishes rattle and looked out the window to see a mama raccoon and her little ones eating out of the cat bowls. The cats were off to the side, looking on and seeming to say, “Go on and eat. There’s more where that came from.” Raccoons are cute but I was not ready to start feeding them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my goodness! What an adventure you had! I would love to visit your special park. That crane and turkey kerfuffle must have been amazing to watch! Thanks for sharing your great pics and story!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was pretty amazing. At one point, as I was looking through the camera lens it was so loud I realized it was RIGHT in front of us and maybe we should have been backing up!


  8. What perfect timing to be able to get out with family into nature. What a battle between those two! I Love all your photos, the artsy -fartsy one is beautiful! Yes, the barn and the horses soothe my soul. ❤️🙏❤️🙏❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So many amazing encounters.The cranes are unbelievable!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great Pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. We all need places, large or small, to mend our souls. Your photos are – exceptional – amazing – beautiiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dawn, I’m so glad you had “company” to share memories of Katie with. So much of grieving is solitary (and your park is a great place to feel Nature’s soothing calm), but sometimes it takes special relationships to empathize with your pain. Wow, that turkey/crane battle must’ve been something to see! Such big birds making big noises! You got some wonderful shots.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. One of the gifts of the pandemic for me has been nature. I’ve gone from looking for birds to adding feeders to the backyard and watching them with awe as birds come to visit and replenish. I truly enjoy my unplugged walks. they were a welcome distraction during the pandemic and kept me focused on the important things in life. Healing and grieving is a process, peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Walks have been such a great thing. I have lots of feeders here too. I seem to need both, my birds here and my birds at a few different parks. I am slowly healing. It’s been 11 days. I still have a hard time believing she’s gone, even though I was the one that made the appointment. It’s almost as though I didn’t understand that she’d be FOREVER gone until now.


  14. Thank you for this amazing walk!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Good for you having company and getting out! The photos are awesome:)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Such perfect timing for your walk. I’m glad you have a place of refuge when you need it. Nature is so very good at that. Wonderful photos and story, Dawn. Thank you for sharing it with us. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Those captions are great. And how wonderful that you could treat your company to such an amazing place. Sometimes distractions can help ease the pain, and it sounds like this one helped turn your thoughts in a different direction for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Wow, oh wow, what a day! Such a special place you have there. I’m glad you were able to let your heart and mind settle on something so glorious for a few hours.

    Take care.❤

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I’m so glad you had some gorgeous nature scenes and critters, as well as family to keep you distracted from missing sweet Katie-girl, even if for a few moments, Dawn. Just like you easily captured Katie’s expressions and personality with your lens, you do so with birds and other critters. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Wow! That Sandhill Crane and Turkey encounter was stupendous! That should be printed in a nature magazine … it really is stupendous. Ah, but the last blue-headed bird. what is she? She’s gorgeous.
    Thank you for posting here when you are in such pain. Maybe communicating with the outside world is part of the process. Maybe not. We’re with you … and we’re with Katie.


  21. You captured amazing shots of the distractions in the park! WOW. I like how you said that one photo was your artsy one of the day. It is beautiful. They all are great photos. It’s nice you had a family to visit and distract you too – it’s good for the soul to remember our furry friends always loved it when we have a good time!


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