Posts Tagged ‘Make Way for Ducklings’

This morning I woke up with birds on the brain.  I had another topic picked, but the birds kept coming back to me.  It reminded me of a movie I watched recently.  No, not The Birds.  The Ring.  You know that movie within the movie that is just a mishmash of images?  That’s what was going on with the birds.  So let’s jump into the mishmash.  I promise no murderous black-haired girlchild will crawl out of the computer screen when we’re done!

I’m away from home right now, in Boise, Idaho.  One of the things that really tickled me was the sight of Canada Geese resting on the rooftops of buildings downtown.  I know they aren’t rare birds.  Back home we have regular migrations, and I have become accustomed to stopped traffic in certain areas of town when the geese decide to cross against the light.

Photographer: Jason Pratt (FishSpeaker) from Pittsburgh, PA

Why did the geese cross the road?

 But I’ve never seen them sitting on architectural outcroppings like giant, web-footed pigeons.  (I wanted to get a picture, but I’m pretty sure motorists would have more patience waiting for lawless wildlife than picture-snapping tourists.)  The sight reminded me of the storks in Europe that roost on chimneys.

By Adam Jones Adam63 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Stork nesting in Romania

All this urban birdlife reminded me of a couple of children’s books that I love.  The first I remember more as impressions from young childhood.  I rediscovered it when I had children of my own.  I don’t know if they enjoyed the read aloud experience as much as I did, but Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey, was definitely on the list.  The second book I read when I was a little older, and I still find it a little odd how deeply I related to the bird in The Trumpet of the Swan, by E.B. White.  I enjoyed Charlotte’s Web, but I did not feel the same connection to the pig.  Trumpet was also my first exposure to an author who would later become a favorite essayist.  I appreciate him because I enjoy his work and I think he is a good example of a writer who is capable in multiple genres.  If you are a writer, you should check out the must-read style manual he co-authored with William Strunk, Jr.: The Elements of Style.

Geese, storks, swans.  What about ducks and owls?  I have a friend who loves birds.  She is a bona fide owlaholic.  She spends time every day rambling through her suburb, which is rich in green space and wild areas, taking pictures of the urban wildlife she coexists so brilliantly with.  Her most recent adventures include an attempted duck rescue.  You can read about it on her blog, Adventures of an Owlaholic. 

I can’t end this post without a trip back home.  Perhaps being away brings memories into sharper focus.  At the moment I am recalling:

  • the owl that roosts right outside my window, hooting me back to sleep when insomnia hits
  • the birds on spring mornings whose singing makes waking up a pleasure
  • the gorgeous colors of cardinals and blue jays, bright amid barren winter trees, and the hours I’ve spent watching them, respectively, dabble in creeks and steal dog food from the back porch
  •  the neighborhood hawks whose seasonal arrival the multiplication of squirrels prophesies
  • and, of course, the occasional descending of starlings that fills the branches of our trees with cacophony, and creates the illusion of a  fully animate tree, leafed out in black.  Alfred Hitchcock was pretty on with his images in “The Birds.”

Hey, I promised no evil children.  I didn’t guarantee no nightmares.

Hope you enjoyed Day 2 of the Blogging from A to Z challenge.  Click on the link to find more blogs to explore, and come on back to see what the rest of the alphabet has in store here.