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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

June Evenings

“As I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping.” Omen, prophet or--bird?

David was relaxing in the bedroom after dinner Tuesday evening when he heard tapping at the window and, pulling back the curtain, thought he saw a young owl flutter and fall to the ground. He alerted me. I went outdoors to see what I could see, held aside the tall grasses and snapped. “Not an owl,” I reported to David. “I think it’s a kestrel.” We scrabbled around the house for the field guides to verify the identification before I went back out to get a couple more pictures. The kestrel, described as “gentle” and as the “most colorful of raptors,” is probably the only hawk I would be able to identify before I looked up its picture. (This one was young and unsure of itself, eying me dubiously, apparently unaware of my thoroughly innocent intentions.) Guide to Bird Behavior (Stokes Nature Guides series), by Donald & Lillian Stokes, tells me where to look for kestrel nests, but I won’t go out of my way to stalk them. Having one fall into our life for an evening was serendipity.

This evening did not have the thrill of wildlife, but it was pleasant nonetheless. The sun was out, and since I'd gotten my gardening done in the morning I was free to help David with yard work in Leland, at our old house he's now using as his studio. Hard work--but satisfying to do it together and to get it done. Sarah rode home on my lap, her head out the window, taking it all in.

I've brought home J. B. Priestley's English Journey to read later tonight. Is it cheating if I skip immediately to the Cotswolds?

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