The Music of Spring or Reality Bites

A Carolina wren finds the perfect perch to begin his morning serenade.

I began hiking toward one of my favorite hides at Weldon Spring Conservation Area this morning well before daylight. The super moon was so bright I didn’t even need a flashlight and I was serenaded along the way by a barred owl to my right and a gobbler to my left. By the time I settled in my hide I heard more critters awakening with the sun, including churring woodpeckers and squawking red-shouldered hawks. Later, the cardinals started up in every direction, pleading for the attention of demure females. Soon I heard the crying of wood ducks as they threaded their way through the trees. Wood ducks make such a sad sound. The wake-up call of forest critters reminds me of the sounds from the orchestra pit at the Muny when musicians are warming up before the show. Even though the music lacks unison or harmony, it is still quite beautiful.

It was such a fine morning, clear and brisk, I forgot about the current condition of our world, if only for a moment. Later I wondered if I would still feel compelled to photograph the natural world if I were the only person left on Earth. Probably not, I suspected. In the absence of an audience, my art would seem pointless. I was a little sad at the prospect I was considering, as unlikely as it was, when the powerful song of a Carolina wren awakened me from my trance. The virtuoso wren was right in front of me on a rotten log. Daydreaming time was over.

A Carolina wren starts its day with a song.

On the way back to the car, I saw another person, the first one of the morning, approaching from the opposite direction. He was a birder with whom I’m actually acquainted, walking with his binoculars toward the trees. As we closed on each other, he moved to the far side of the logging road, pointed his eyes to the ground, and passed me without looking up or speaking. I just stood there, a little dumbfounded, watching him as he continued on. Although the encounter snapped me back into reality, I said to myself the rest of the way to my car, “This too shall pass.”

Happy Naturing,


Email:  Natureframes@Rocketmail.Com

Website:  Here

America is beautiful. I vote to keep it that way.

12 comments on “The Music of Spring or Reality Bites”

  1. They are sure loud and proud Little Birds.

  2. I am afraid the world is still with me. I read “Carolina” as “Corona” by sheer reflex! Thanks for the peek into the outdoors. Since ours is a populous city, state and nation, we are under curfew and we cannot drive anywhere, even walking is restricted. Deepa.

  3. And…I have a reply to your musing about whether you would photograph in the absence of an audience. Danny…I would, and do. I know that the day may come when I cannot go out (well it seems it already has, in a scenario I would never have imagined!) and I would delight in the memories my photographs brought back. Yesterday I was looking at my photos of lions from both Gir Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujrat, India, and from my first visit to Tanzania. So…dedicated audience or dead audience…keep clicking 😀

  4. Very strange and sad. Not sure why someone would do that. We always stop and talk to those we know when we are in the park – at least 10′ from them and through our masks, of course, but we talk, wave, engage in community. Gets hot with a mask on, but if I wear one, I protect you; if you wear one, you protect me. 🙂

  5. Thank you for for the walk and the verbal description. I felt like I was there with you. Thanks for your great work.

  6. It’s sad that we have to even consider what we’d do if we were the last person. And that people passing each other, particularly people that know each other, are so stressed that they don’t acknowledge, from afar, each other. I have noticed some of that too. There are more people out walking in my neighborhood than I’ve ever seen before. More people walking dogs than I knew even lived here. Hardly anyone acknowledges anyone else. Everyone moves to the opposite side of the street. In the old days we still might have moved to the other side if we didn’t know the dog..but we’d have at least raised a hand to wave as we went by. You are right…this too shall pass. But I don’t know when.

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