Last evening, John, Maria, Bridget & I went to the Calvin Nature Preserve to go birding with the nature guy from our church. At one point I must have mentioned that it sounded like fun because when we were out at Lake Michigan with the Nature Guy, he heard this certain distinct bird call, and I said, do you know what that is and he said, "Oh, that's the red eyed vireo." That led me to a rather delusionional glorification of birding and of spotting rare specimens with names that sounded like the purple-striped red-spotted nut hatch or the silver-crested blue-toed kingfisher. But as I was to find out, it's not like that at all.
First off, you go into a big green woods and start looking:
Now if you looked hard enough, you should have seen this, which turns out to be a robin, the Michigan state bird. These can also be seen out in the yard if I look out the window of my house.
Now I will tell you, this woods was rather buggy, and so when a gnat flew in to my eye and got stuck in the fold of my eyelid, I finally started feeling at one with nature.
The nature preserve contains this pond which is covered with moss. I was having urges to go ice skating on it with my gnat, or at least walk out on the green ice with him.
But back to birding, or the reality of it... we saw a duck, skating on the green.
It turns out that John is very good at birding. I always knew he could spot little things flying by and this turns out to be a necessary skill to have when birding. He wrote down at least 15 different species of birds that we saw last night! When we left the nature preserve, we came out to an empty parking lot complete with hundreds of parallel yellow lines, and the transition jolted me back in to reality. At that moment, the song that goes, "We paved paradise and put up a parking lot" kept popping in to my head. I guess I was enjoying the woods.