A Short Essay “Time Traveler Observations”
Kankakee, Illinois. May, 2013
I don’t think bird watching is something a person sets out in life to do. Like many other
sneaks up on you. And it’s hard to make a living at it.
We live on a major river migratory routeto all parts north. Some fifty different species stop by our feeders, along with assorted ducks.They all make their presents known in a song, before you are allowed to see them.And the raptors! The
out of the sun, like a combat pilot. In a flash there’s
an explosion of feathers on the ground, and a Dove just disappears right in front of your eyes.But what strikes me the most is the more you learn about birds, the more you realize humanskills are no match. We need fossil fuel burning machines to pretend to fly like birds.Just consider the navigation; Hummingbirds weighing less than an ounce can migrate 8000miles. In the dark. Alone. No snacks. No map. No I-tunes. No I-phone And arrive at the exactspot they left the year before. Also the first trip south is when their barely three months old.We need GPS just to find the grocery store
. We’re so proud of our GPS. Now we don’t nee
learn how to read a map anymore. There’s a little reassuring voice to tell you, like a child, when
to turn. And its so polite when you screw-
up. “I’m totally sorry you missed that last turn. It’s myentire fault. I should have known you’re a slow learner. For heaven’s sake, let’s try that againshall we?” Huh.
Most birds migrate at night. If you could see them in the night sky, it would be a colossal sight.They use the constellations, smell and sound, to find where they want to be. And other things weknow nothing at all about. But we think we do.
If there’s a cloud cover or bad weather their
temporarily. River’s and lakeshores are ancient
migratory routes.Humans would not survive long without birds. The insects they eat would consume us in biblical proportions.Tonight were going fishing. My close friend Troy, and me. The man can build or fix most
anything. Not a lot of men can say that anymore. He’s a very humble and unassuming man.
helped me with all my films and accepts responsibility without ever a complaint.We both have about the same amount of formal education, which is to say about none. Which
means we can enjoy each other’s company
, without pretense of any sort.
He’s just bought a new fishing pole at a church garage sale.