I've had some wonderful moments this past week. The weather has slowly been warming, buds are popping out on trees, swallows are skimming over the pond, racing here and there, enjoying a few of the emerging insects, building their nests.
Kids have loved feeding the ducks and looking for insects. They thrill over finding an earth worm, or a pill (potato) bug; the anticipation of waiting for them to open up and walk around was just intoxicating.
As I was leaving work a few days ago, I noticed a bird flying over the pond, hunting little fish. At first glance I thought it was a gull, which would have been unusual in and of itself, as they don't generally venture into this little mountain valley. However it wasn't a gull, so I hurried back inside and grabbed my bins for a closer look. It was beautiful. Swerving, diving, soaring over the pond. It was a tern of some kind, but I'm not up on terns, so I just sat and watched. It took a dive into the pond, but came out empty handed. I continued watching, taking in every detail I could. It was such a beautiful day, I'd have loved staying and watching him longer. But once I got home, I looked him up. It was a Caspian Tern. Not too uncommon, but rare in some parts of the state.
On Tuesday, I was out working in my little flower garden. Pulling happily growing weeds, getting the soil ready for new additions to the garden. I heard a gull flying over head. Down here in the valley where I live, gulls are plentiful. But this one sounded different than our usual California Gull. So my interest was peaked. I glanced up, just curious to see who had this interesting voice. Look at that black hood! I dropped my gardening tools, and made a bee-line around the house for another look at him. But all I could see was his tail end, heading off to some distant waters. But there was no mistaking that hood. A Franklin's Gull had just graced me with a quite look. Beautiful bird.
Last night I drove home through a blizzard. And this morning came to work with the world looking like December again. That old man just doesn't want to let go.
Hot cocoa anyone?