Zing! Zing! Happy Notch…Up Two Ticks

It wouldn’t seem that staring out the window in a foggy-eyed sleepy stupor would pay off any morning. In early spring, it’s the Black-chinned or Rufous wintering hummingbirds who frequent the feeders, perhaps even a wayward Ruby-Throated return migrator  who just exhaustively returned from wintering grounds hundreds of miles to the south. Watching them in the morning is better than a caffeine jolt: pure happiness.

Currently, we have been enjoying the Wrens, Cardinals, Bluebirds, Blue Jays, and Chickadees at the feeders and bird baths, all tending their nests as they start their days in the early morning hours on our property. It feels like a privilege they all chose our yard to raise their families.

As a coffee addict, I also have an obligatory cup of coffee nearby, but mostly, I’m a bird addict. My eyes are trained to outside the glass, waiting for movement.

The Buff-bellied Hummingbird is a large hummer, very unlike the usual variety, and some individuals will winter along the Gulf Coast. In our ten years here, we’ve never even seen one. Guess who stopped into the all-you-can-eat nectar buffet this morning?

Happy Dance

My euphoria of a new ‘lifer’ right on my home turf was quickly replaced with frustration (and a few choice curse words). This guy would prove tricky to shoot; he seemed to detect by movement on the other side of the glass where we all were parked with field lenses and cameras, waiting. He would predictably perch on the other side of the feeder hidden from our view — away from my prying camera lens.

Time to get serious. Splitting into troops, two teams would be in charge of ‘movement’ inside while I, the cameraman, stayed perfectly poised with focus on the backside of the feeder.

Buff-Bellied Hummingbird

Yeah…who’s the smart one now, Little Guy?
Buff-bellied Hummingbird Lifer!

Not only are we happier, but we feel smarter too.: we outwitted a bird brain!

Just as we were busy obsessing over little birdies before school, another happy zinger came in to roost. Tanja Britton, a fellow WP Blogger and birder in the beautiful state of Colorado posted ‘Serendipity’ and a most splendid shot of the moon setting over Pike’s Peak in the distance. She tells the story of our happenstance meeting there last week.

Serendipity post on WordPress
Credit: Tanja Britton

Though my version of the story is still in the works and may not post for a week or more, she got to hers straight away. She is so right about Garden of the Gods, a rare jewel and free public park in Colorado Springs, which is why Scott and I would start our long days out by hiking there every morning.

I had recently discovered her blog on a WordPress category search (‘Birding’ or ‘Birds’ is never disappointing!) when she described in a post her chase for the American Dipper. I commented on my own experience and we instantly connected — as birders, as bloggers.

On the drive up to Colorado Springs, Scott and I discussed the Dipper and her blog post as we planned our days. He suggested that I attempt to contact her via her blog, to see if she might be interested in meeting us during our stay in her area — I thought better of it. My experience is that many bloggers (myself included) prefer a modicum of anonymity and it would be presumptuous of me to ask. Better that we enjoy each other from afar, developing whatever relationship that slow process would allow, blogging etiquette intact.

Days later, Destiny had other plans for us.

At a morning hike at Garden of the Gods, we ran smack dab into each to other. She recognized me from a two-year old post she had just read (I had led her to within a comment), a do-rag on my head. This fateful piece of cotton has reliably kept hair out of my nose and mouth while weathering the winds and wets of the great outdoors. I wear it faithfully.

Selfie on the Trail

Mr. and Mrs. Dirt, 2015

Garden of the Gods, CO

Mr. and Mrs. Dirt, NOW, Two Years Later
No Glasses — But that old DO-RAG!!

Sadly, there is now a 4-5″ hole in the middle of that piece of cotton, so it will no longer be worn as head-wear. We retired it with great pomp and circumstance later in the day over falafels. Who knows…maybe a new color for the next 25 years? I’m thinking pink!

To be sure, there are never unhappy people on the trail. I mean, who goes for a 10-mile hike with beautiful scenery and nothing but solitary nature sounds, and bitches the whole way about it? (Okay, anyone except my kids?)

We have met some wonderful people in our decades together on the trail, Tanja is just another one of those smiling, welcoming faces. But in her words in her post, what are the odds of meeting someone you already kinda know, but had never actually met? That’s just the best!

Zingers. That’s what daily living is all about. Count them and remember them and celebrate each and every one.

Colorado Springs posts…still coming soon!

9 thoughts on “Zing! Zing! Happy Notch…Up Two Ticks

  1. I’m a bird watcher, of sorts. I do enjoy watching them. Although I can identify only a few. If I could be any bird, I’d be a turkey vulture. They are just magnificent to me. In fact, outside my window, they perch in the trees across the field.


    1. ‘Texas Parks and Wildlife’ magazine did a marvelous work up on the two vulture species in America. They are so very under-appreciated. Nice to have you here, Peter. I’ve not written an animal ethics piece in a while but am working one…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s good to hear, Shannon. I look forward to it.

        BTW, I lived in Houston and surrounding area (Katy and Humble) for 19 years. Now we’re 16 years back in Southern Indiana. My favorite place in the world, so far at least, is Big Bend National Park. My last visit there was in 2005. A long drive from Indiana. I suspect it hasn’t changed much. And I would like to visit there again, someday. A person can find themselves in the Desert, and the Chisos Mountains are spectacular, nothing less.

        I would like to find the write-up you mention. Perhaps it can be found on their website.


      2. Big Bend = My Happy Place. There are posts here on BBNP as well. With beautiful birdies ta boot.

        If you can’t find the article, let me know and I will get it to you. 😀

        How on earth did a vegan live in Meat Country USA for so long?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. You are a gifted writer, Tanja, and I love that you have an equal fondness for the feathered beauties. We feel so very lucky to have crossed paths with you. All my best! ~ Shannon

      Liked by 1 person

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