Posted by Sherry Ennis on Jun 08, 2019

Dear Members,

In spring, I feel fortunate to receive many special gifts. They come by air in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Some stick around while others are fleeting. I am talking of birds. The first of these is the Rufous Hummingbird, which stops in, mates, terrorizes the arriving Black Chins and Calliopes and speeds farther north. There are occasional Golden and White Crowned sparrows, with their plump bodies and cheery outlook. What I always think of as our only “tropical” birds, the Mountain Bluebird and Goldfinch make infrequent cameos but do light up the scenery with their vivid blue and yellow. During the first week of June, I begin to drive the entire length of dusty Hickey Road, hoping to espy the Bobolink, which stops at the corner of the Hickey farm. Each year I’m thrilled when I see him with his white back and yellow nape, the only land bird in North America that wears his light color on his back instead of his belly. Some say he is wearing his tuxedo backwards. On my sojourn to see him this week, I spotted a bird I hadn’t seen in my neighborhood, the Eastern Kingbird. I was thrilled. He’s a handsome bird but rumored to be quite nasty. Then, there is my true harbinger of summer, the elusive Swainson’s Thrush, which I’ve never seen but tracked down by listening to bird songs on CDs. Throughout my adult life, as I’ve driven to my family’s cabin on Hayden Lake at each curve where the woods are dark and there is a creek drainage, I hear this bird’s lilting song, and I know it’s summer. At home, I can hear the sweet tune as I lie in bed in the morning light.
Last weekend, I received a special gift. As I sat on my mother’s deck at dusk, a BIG bird landed at the top of a nearby pine tree. I assumed it to be a hawk until I saw the two ears, a Great Horned Owl! Owls are difficult to see although I hear them frequently. As he sat atop the tree, looking for all the world like a cat in the dusk, two Robins, who must have had a nest nearby, screamed insanely and dive bombed him. The owl was unimpressed by their hysteria. Soon, he swooped down and away, possibly having seen dinner below, and all became quiet. How lucky I had been.

Once I heard a woman on a TV show saying the big tree outside her bedroom window would have to be removed if she were to buy the house she was considering. Why? Because she couldn’t stand the sounds of birds. All I could think was that her life was incredibly empty if she needed to remove the sounds of nature. We, here in our little slice of paradise, have not only the gift of birds and their songs but of nature in abundance. Aren’t we lucky?

On to CAL business, I first want to give a huge thank you to Diane Arrants for her persistence in bringing the Square to Bizarre Bazaar. She brought the idea to the Board months ago and has worked diligently to secure the best deal on equipment and service. We now have internet, long distance phone service and a nifty new iPad to ring up our sales. Thank you, Diane!

June 26 is the Summer Sipper at the Dish restaurant in Dover. I’m so looking forward to this new event, an opportunity to mingle with my friends on our beautiful lake. I hope to see you there!

Sherry Ennis