In which I share a Moment of Wonder recorded in my nature journal over the previous week.
This week, I have two moments to share with you, because they were both pretty great and I just couldn't decide.
My niece was visiting from Boston for the weekend, and on Sunday afternoon, we'd all just returned from ice skating on the pond down the road and had settled down for a movie and butterscotch popcorn. The sun was starting to set in streaks of lemon and raspberry, and as I looked out the window at the scene, a large bird flew across my field of vision. From the size of its head, I knew it was an owl. Z spied the tree it had landed in and my niece and I pulled on boots and trekked down the driveway to see if we could get a closer look. As we neared the tree it was in, I thought I detected "ears"—or the tufts of feathers on the head that would indicate it was a great-horned owl. A little closer and it flew off, across our neighbor's field, ears fully visible. We walked partway across the field before it took off again.
This sighting was extra-cool for two reasons: We often hear great-horned owls calling around our house, but we've never seen one before; usually we see barred owls. And, every time my niece visits, we have a neat wildlife sighting. One time it was a close encounter with a porcupine, the other time it was a flying squirrel on our bird feeder. She's wildlife good luck!
The second moment happened yesterday. E and I went ice skating one last time before the snow when he got home from school yesterday. While I ooch my way in a circle around the ice as if I'm at an actual ice rink with a designated direction of travel, he scoots all over the pond and is up and down and up and down, sliding on his knees and butt as often as his skates. At one point, he was lying on his back and said, "Look up there."
A flock of 50-60 birds was flying overhead in a perfect V formation. They were totally silent, so not geese (also, they didn't appear to have long necks), and appeared completely black, so not gulls (I'm not sure if gulls practice such disciplined V-flying). Some kind of duck, I assume. Where did they come from and where were they going? And who can look at a V of flying birds and not comprehend that mutualism and cooperation are inherent traits in nature, and therefore should also be part of human society?