One of the things that is most enjoyable about Columbia is the presence, and frequently abundance, of nature. It is, quite honestly, the reason I stay here, and have been here since college graduation. I’m not sure whether it my normal observation skills, or the abundance around me, but I always seem to notice the presence of nature around me. The red-shouldered hawk on the light pole, the groundhog beside of the highway, the rabbit on the way into the library. In one sense it’s a little odd, because as a child my mother used to point out birds in the trees….birds I didn’t know I couldn’t see because I needed glasses and we didn’t know it at the time.
As is obvious from many of my posts, I enjoy walking. Walking is my mind-freeing, thought-producing time. My walks since the spring have followed a particular path. the other day as I was walking, I heard the sounds of baby birds. It being spring, I smiled and kept walking. The next time I walked, I noticed their sound again, and in the same place. I looked around, and though I didn’t see them, thought perhaps they were in the broken branch of a tree adjacent to the sidewalk.
The other day I passed yet again, looking yet again to see if I could see any fuzzy little heads peeking out of a nest. As I looked, I noticed a hole in the limb below where it was broken off. The shape of the hole and it’s location so near to the sound caused me to wonder whether IT might be the home of the baby birds. As I stood there, a small flash of shape and color came into view and disappeared into the higher branches. The flash of red always catches my eye, and as I looked, I realized the bird that I had noticed was a downy woodpecker. Ah…now it made sense.
I walked away, but since the sidewalk was clear, I kept looking back. I stopped fifty or so feet away, and waited. Sure enough, as I stood there, the downy mother came out of the upper branches, and disappeared into the hole. I had been right…there was a nest, it was where I thought it was (close, at least to my first guess) and now I knew to whom it belonged. Another successful nature day in Columbia 🙂
I hope I get to see the babies at some point….in the tree and not on the ground!