My love for watching nature started when I was a young child. I loved watching birds, especially Evening Grosbeaks and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, in the mornings and evenings with my father, who taught me an appreciation for birds and nature. Can you believe I’ve not seen an Evening Grosbeak since I moved away from my childhood home?
Hummingbirds are my favorite. They have a short stay each summer, in New Hampshire–arriving in May and leaving at the beginning of September. When my father told me they fly from New Hampshire all the way across the Gulf of Mexico to winter in South America, I didn’t believe him. When he told me they come back to the exact same place every summer, I thought he was crazy. But the first time I saw a hummingbird hovering where my hummingbird feeder hung the previous year, and before I had put my feeder out for the year, I knew he was right.
My dad didn’t believe me when I told him we had a pair of Whippoorwills serenading us during the summer. They’d become almost extinct in our area. After my dad heard them himself, he was so excited he brought a tape recorder the next time he visited. I wasn’t always happy to hear them since they are nocturnal and loved to wake me in the middle of the night. But, I wish I could still hear those Whippoorwills; they left the year my father passed away, seventeen years ago, and never returned. I think he may have taken them with him.
There is always a creature lurking in my backyard. If it’s not spying from the huge maple tree that peers into my kitchen, it’s from the yard or deck. It might be a deer just off my deck, a chipmunk jaunting across, or maybe a Red Cardinal flitting in the snow. Sometimes it’s a Pileated Woodpecker knocking on a tree, a Cedar Waxwing landing in my lilac tree, or a raptor looking to snag one of my chickens for a meal. Those are just a few of nature’s beauties that play I Spy. I don’t mind, though; I just spy back.