Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Yellow Finches

I can see why people love bird watching. There is something about it that catches my attention. Each morning this past week I have been performing a ritual that may seem inconsequential. Right after turning on the Brewstation I slowly open the front door to see if I have any visitors. If I am lucky there will be a pair of yellow finches perching on the lance-leaf coreopsis in the flower garden.
These beautiful birds visit us each year to relieve us of the burden of too many seeds. I have noticed their startling ability to light upon the feeblest plants without tipping off balance.
My particular pair of finches seem exceedingly loyal to each other. The male is as brightly colored as he is bold. He is easy to spot and is most frequently out in the open. His less adventurous mate is not as brightly colored, and prefers the protection of the dogwood nearby to the exposure of the flowers.
I have noticed that many older people I know can recognize flora and fauna by name. Younger people have excellent powers of recognition as well, but tend to recognize soundbites from TV shows and sponsors for their favorite motocross riders. As a guide, I have spent whole weeks in the wilds of Canada and rarely field questions about the nature we are passing through. Thomas Huxley (an intelligent man though an agnostic and necessarily staunch Evolutionist) said ironically, "To a person uninstructed in natural history, his country or seaside stroll is a walk through a gallery filled with wonderful works of art, nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to the wall."
I am fighting this trend with my own children and am learning I have help. I was encouraged on Monday when Andrew spotted a bird and said, "Look, a chickadee!" I inquired where the source for this knowledge could be found and he said, "Grandy (his grandfather) tells me the names of the birds on his bird feeders."
Perhaps tomorrow we will rise early and slowly open the door together. I doubt the finches will mind a second set of wondering eyes.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Back to Blogging

I have not posted in quite a while.
It's ironic that I am writing this blog to say that I will have to delay returning to it for at least one more day. Such is the life of those who have a growing family. There is much to write...