Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April 7: On the Move

Thanks to the miracles of modern technology, I'm writing this blog entry while waiting for my car to get its 30,000-mile tune-up. Even Bath Subaru's waiting room has free wi fi! I spent this morning before my car appointment on the move running some errands in the Portland area. On the drive down, notable bird sightings included an osprey and a turkey. The hawk watch on Bradbury Mountain in Pownal reported that the wind had shifted this morning, so now southwesterly--just what the hawks want to boost their migration mileage. By 11:45 they had tallied 50 birds and that was just about when things were "really starting to pick up." Before I learned this, however, I had noticed many more birds soaring overhead as I drove back north. I picked out three, maybe four, eagles, a bunch of vultures, and two ospreys. And that's just what could be seen directly overhead while I sped along 295 between South Portland and Bath--imagine what else is out there following the ridge lines and thermals on this clear day. There's also an osprey back at the nest in the Route One median in Bath.

When we were up on Bradbury Mountain the other day for a few hours, at one point an osprey flew directly overhead, giving us all beautiful views of its brown and white plumage, crooked wings, and fingered wing tips. I can picture it in my head as clearly as a snapshot. But what struck me most as I think back now was its gaze--that steely-eyed focus on the distant horizon ahead. We humans directly below on the open ledge meant nothing to this bird. Nor the houses, the roads, the streams of cars, the smoke of brushfires. The osprey was on a mission, a mission encoded in its very genes. Its steady flight northward was an inner directive powered by the essential, awe-inspiring force of Nature itself. A force even more miraculous to me than wi fi!

Osprey flying north
impelled by some inner force.
I'm moved to follow.

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