Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 19: Routine

Having spent this entire rainy day inside at my desk working intensely on several projects, I'm realizing that no image stands out in my mind to inspire a haiku. It was a pretty routine day in front of the computer and on the phone. I ate my usual lunch at my desk. The blue jay visited my feeder again, looking absurdly large and gawky. The tapping chickadee visited the feeder several times throughout the day, as it does every day. The rain fell harder, then mellowed out by dusk. I worked after everyone else had left the office, as usual, and came home to the Red Sox on television. (An Ortiz home run lifted my spirits.)

Meanwhile, while I was experiencing my ordinary day, birders in North Conway, New Hampshire were observing a most unusual rare bird: a scissor-tailed flycatcher. Not your routine spring migrant, the scissor-tailed flycatcher is a bird of the southern plains, the state bird of Oklahoma. The only ones I've ever seen were on a birding trip to Kansas a few years ago, although it's a bird I'd dearly wanted to see since I was a kid. Take a look in a bird book and you can see why. That long, crazy, split tail--how can that be real? And when the bird hovers to catch flies, trailing that wacky tail behind it, its underwings flash a beautiful russet color. It's a graceful, lovely, unusual creature, and absolutely does not belong anywhere near downtown North Conway, NH. Apparently only three or four of them have ever been recorded in that state, and none recently.

So while for me today was business as usual, it was reassuring to know that somewhere out there something cool was happening.

Same jay, chickadee.
Yet just a few hours away,
bird I once dreamed of.

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