I’ve been able to get outside for long walks a couple of times in the past week or so. Being outside always makes me feel better.
In fact, that’s advice I give regularly to people who are feeling down or sad and wistful. Being outside just makes me smile.
I suppose that’s why mom always told us to go outside and play. Or, just possibly, it was to get us all away from her!
Either way, we spent our childhoods romping around the neighborhoods we lived in, climbing trees and stomping through mud, riding bikes, roller skating, playing kick the can and just generally running around.
I don’t roller skate anymore…haven’t kicked a can in a few decades, used to run, but don’t do that now either.
But I can still stomp around in mud and walk through the woods and look for good climbing trees, though I don’t dare actually climb these days.
And I can look for the birds and others who generously share their woods with me. And sometimes, though certainly not nearly all the time, I can grab an image to remember it all by.
A little over a week ago I decided, late in the morning, to go to Kensington, my favorite bird park, even though I’d arrive much later than normal and the odds were the little birds would have full bellies and not want to socialize with me.
Well, the pictures above are from that walk. The little ones were more than happy to visit with me, though the red-bellied woodpeckers and the redwing blackbirds weren’t willing to sit in my hand that day.
But they were definitely willing to grab a bite if I left it somewhere for them.
And the squirrels were very upfront about asking for something too.
And then there was this sandhill crane family. The juvenile (you can tell it’s a youngster because his/her head is still brown, not red like his folks) was transfixed by a squirrel that was up in a tree.
The squirrel was not as excited about meeting the cranes.
It ran up and down the other side of the tree, gathering seed I’d spilled while the young crane closely watched.
It was hysterical.
By the time I left them the squirrel had scampered away and the crane family was poking among the leaves for any leftover treats.
And just this weekend I went up to the Shiawasee Nature Preserve with a friend. We walked almost 2 miles back into the woods, wandering the dyke system and marveling at the engineering.
We didn’t get any close encounters with birds, but we saw plenty of bald eagles, both adult and juvenile flying high overhead.
And we heard hundreds of sandhill cranes, their calls coming from all around us. When we got out into the open we saw many of them walking in the mud flats far out in the wetlands.
And dozens more were flying in, their grey feathers glinting in the afternoon sun.
It’s just as magical, in a different way, as Kensington.
Lucky me, to get out into places like this so regularly.
I wish you all could come!
But since most of you live so far away, I’m counting on you to look around your area and find some wild beautiful place and take me along with pictures and words some day. We’ll both be the better for it.