Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Things avian, and related
The first expedition involved Thing #2, aged FOUR AND A HALF as she was happy to inform the people we met. In defiance of smoke and flame (presumably) and more smoke, we headed across the Rockies toward favourite spa-place nestled on the edge of the Columbia Trench. A big birdly feature of that blessed vale is the OSPREY, as pictured above. Thing #2 established rapport with ospreys ("osprey-ers" in her take on the world) on our trip last summer, and was delighted to see more of the same on this trip.
A highlight for Doting Grandma was watching her observe an osprey family in and around their nest atop a pole just on the edge of a children's playground... and she took the opportunity to deliver a lecture to the other children (total strangers) on what those noises were, and what those birds were, and what they were doing, and why. Accurate and voluble ornithology...
And as we traveled upstream and downstream along the course of the big river -- we were lucky to see clearly either two kingfishers, or one kingfisher twice...
Swimming in various hot pools, Thing also registered the presence and activities of SWALLOWS, various, a family that hadn't really made an impression on her until now. Much excitement.
During another side trip at a higher elevation in the National Parks...there on the path was a CLARK'S NUTCRACKER. Much joy.
As a kind of culmination we dropped into a pleasant giftshop in search of mementos for our stay-at-home family...there were numbers of bird-ish objets d'art, recognized and exclaimed over, and explained in terms of our experience of them to the somewhat startled proprietor... As the recital of what we had seen, and what we hadn't seen (yet) unfolded, the shopkeeper presented Thing with a wonderful gift... the National Geographic full-color, double-sided, fold-out, plasticized chart of "Birds of the Rocky Mountains." AND declined to be paid for it... so much handier than a BOOK, although Thing is pretty adept with Peterson's Field Guide, at that. She continues to pore over her bird chart and recall what we saw. And didn't see, yet. "But NEXT summer, Grandma..."
Another day, I'll tell you how Thing went whitewater rafting on the Kicking Horse River. Yes.