Monday, June 4, 2012

June 3: Rain in the spruce forest

This morning I and others led a bird walk for the Acadia Birding Festival on Acadia National Park's Ship Harbor Nature Trail as the rain fell and the tide came in. We could hear waves crashing from beyond the wall of spruce trees, and in the treetops, the tinkling notes of the kinglet's song. Small rafts of eiders rode the swells into the harbor, unbothered by rain, shielded by waterproof feathers. From amid the misty tangle of trees, a white-throated sparrow sang loud and clear. Wet sweet fern, crushed by fingers, seemed particularly pungent. Mosses burgeoned, green sponges massed over the forest floor. Water had formed a small pool at the root base of a fallen spruce, creating a wet cave--what might hide in there? Walking the rain-softened trail, our footsteps were dampened, allowing us to hear well the repeated song of the black-throated green warbler. In the dim light, half-concealed amid wet leaves, the warbler's yellow face shone like a tiny sun.

Raindrops on flat leaves
are easily mistaken
for movements of birds.

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