Creek-side Encounter

I was running late this morning. I won’t go into the details, which would only be of interest to those who know me, but they included oversleeping and a flat tire.

I was in a hurry, as certain rural folks really do like to get their Sunday papers before noon. I can picture a scene in a farm kitchen:

“That guy in the Ford pickup finally showed up! Here’s the paper, Maude. Look at the obituaries; it seems that Elmer finally kicked the bucket – I’ll bet that Norma is breathing a sigh of relief! Never did like that man.”

At one point I just had to pull over and pee. I stopped at a concrete bridge spanning a creek which had been eating its way through limestone outcroppings ever since the glaciers retreated ten thousand years ago.

During my forced time-out, as golden urine arced over the bridge railing, I saw what looked to be falling leaves fluttering down from the trees which arched over the creek. No, they weren’t leaves, they were birds! A flock of black-capped chickadees was feeding upon red berries of understory trees which still retained their leaves, though the leaves were colored a motley mix of green and yellow, and a winter storm will soon bring them down to join the soft maple and sycamore leaves in the annual compost heap which keeps the creek-side forest nourished. A few of the chickadees in an early-winter tableau:

And here’s a shot of the trees the birds were feeding upon. Best I could do!

I appreciated the way that the young soft maple trunks curve and intertwine!



1 Comment

Filed under Essays and Articles, Natural History, Photos, Quincy

One response to “Creek-side Encounter

  1. bev

    Yes, love those soft maple trunks – the curve and also the texture. Chickadees are such neat little birds – quick and perky. We used to hike and cross-country sky a lot in winter and in certain places in the forest, it was almost like having a halo of chickadees around your head as they would flit so close by.

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