It’s gonna be springtime soon. I sprung for a new pair of binoculars. I wanted ones that will focus near-distance, and I found them in “Papilio II” by Pentax. Those binocs will focus as close as my arm’s length. They will be ideal for butterflies on the lantanas, and today I’m spying on the bird feeder.
Cold outside but sunny and I’m watching goldfinches, house finches, chickadees, tufted titmice, and a lady cardinal. They don’t exactly take turns; they sit on the bare branches nearby and look for an opening. The chickadees and titmice make a quick grab for seeds. The goldfinches prefer to settle in and feed. Last week I watched a pair of pileated woodpeckers work on dead branches of an oak. Wish I’d had the Papilio glasses then! A house wren just landed on the sill, maybe asking, “What are you guys finding here?”
I miss the birds of my childhood back in south Texas. It’s been – how long? – since I’ve heard a meadowlark. Or seen a couple of grasshoppers hung on a barb-wire fence by a nine-killer. White-wing doves, ground doves and Inca doves. Those remarkable scissor-tails whose arrival told you it’s time to go barefooted. You lucky so-and-so's down there below the Nueces -- take a bird walk!
I still have the French 8x30 binocs I bought when I took ornithology at Texas Tech. I could have used these Papilos back then.
February 8, 2016. Good morning, Peyton Manning!
“Never wear anything that panics the cat.” – P. J. O’Rourke.