Bird on a Wire

We used to have a road trip scavenger hunt. The idea was to check off items one might see out a car window. Stop sign, fuel truck, school, cows, that kind of thing. Whenever we played this game there was inevitably one item we could not find–a bird on a wire.

It was weird. It is not hard to see a bird on a wire most of the time. Even in winter there are birds and they are sometimes to be found on wires. But when we had that scavenger hunt in hand, and this happened many times, we could not find one. It became a joke in our family. We would be out walking in a new place, with no scavenger hunt list to check, and one of us would point and shout “Hey there’s a bird on a wire!”

I have not played that travel game in years but I still think of it, of those road trips, whenever I see a bird on a wire. I though of it today. After a day of way to much inside time, of too much computer work, of too little physical activity, I went outside with a pair of binoculars as the sun was setting. I didn’t have the binoculars to look at the setting sun. That would have been stupid. I had them to look at birds, were I to spot any. I did spot some. And one of them was on a wire.

Actually two of them were on a wire. Two bluebirds, singing their song that sounds like they are just too lazy to sing as boldly as anything like a Robin, flew onto and off of that wire. Blue birds against a blue sky with the low bright light of the closing of day in early spring–good stuff that. It was a beautiful sight and it was good to get outside and to move around a bunch and to listen and to look for our avian neighbors. And those birds, perched on that wire, reminded me of some good trips with my family.

I still think of that game when I see a bird on a wire while I am driving. I am not driving much these days. There is a chance I will do some driving tomorrow but that is still not a definite plan. I am staying home, along with the rest of the crew, most of the time. You know, stay home and stay safe. I mean, if I want to see a bird on a wire, apparently I can do that by walking down the road. No driving required.

Chilled Bluebirds

Bluebird Pondering Making a February Nest?

The site of bluebirds has been pretty common lately. Robins have been around as well. I am not sure if they never left, or if they have just returned way early. I suppose I didn’t see any for about a month, but for the past month they have been hanging out in the maple tree, on the birdhouses, in the pines. It has been mild enough, with little enough snow, that apparently they have enough to eat.

Walking down to meet the school bus the other morning I heard a bird singing. Up in a white pine next to the driveway a bluebird was trilling away. Seriously? Early February and a bluebird is not only hanging around but singing? Not even just a simple call, but a song? Too weird.

We have lived in this house five winters now and I have seen bluebirds late in winter, but never this early, or as late in the fall, as this season. It has been so warm that we have speculated that the sap is running. Last week we had a stretch of days with highs in the forties and nights with lows in the teens–perfect sugaring weather. Except it is early February.

I love bluebirds. I love maple syrup. I love spring. But we have yet to have one big snowstorm. Let me say that again: We have not yet had a major snowstorm. Our driveway was plowed once, twice if you count the sanding when it was super icy. I am not yet ready for bluebirds and sugaring. I am ready for snow.

I don’t want to harp on this weather thing, but criminy, can we get some snow already? Today was cold at least. Our high temperature was 12. Yesterday it was 15. If it had been really windy, and we had gotten two feet of snow, it would have been a blizzard. Then I would have been able to say “Poor bluebirds.” Instead I can feel bad for the guy who plows our driveway. So much for that extra income on his part.

It was warm again this coming week. I guess those thrushes will have plenty of reason to stick around until spring really does come. And maybe we will get a bumper crop of maple syrup. I mean, heck, why not look on the bright side of this? I can do that for one winter. For one winter. Another winter of this would make me loony.