Sunday, May 15, 2022

Bird Walk


A further coincidence of pigeons occurred in my reading on p. 113 of The Comforters by Muriel Spark: "Soon a pigeon flashed out from its high loft and descended to the seat beside her. She folded the thin paper into a tiny pellet, fixed it into the band on the silver bird's leg, stroked its bill with her brown fingers, and let it go. Off it flew, in the direction of Ladle Sands."

Speaking of pellets, I went on bird walk today, and while we did not see the great horned owl in Ewing Park, we did 1) hear its call and 2) see its pellet the under its tree, containing a mouse skull, fur, and feathers. Our fearless leader, Given Harper of the local branch of the Audubon Society, held the pellet in his hands for us. We also saw a bald eagle flying (gliding) high above and far away, heard flycatcher and titmouse, and saw a migrating pair of black-billed cuckoos (I saw one in motion; others saw the pair in binoculars on branches). An early-morning birder had seen a kite. We saw a different kind of kite stuck in a tree, and plenty of broad winged hawks.

Earlier, as we walked through Hidden Creek nature preserve, truly "hidden" in town, in a residential neighborhood and just off the hiking trail, we saw an indigo bunting (vivid blue), Eastern pee wee (olive breast), and Eastern screech owl, red head poking boldly out of its screech owl box to observe us. I was mesmerized. As we walked, we passed a bench with yellow fabric roses tied to it, and a plaque. It was for Bill Morgan, my friend who died this spring. I sat down and put my arm around him, sort of. Lovely, lovely day. Bill would have enjoyed it, too.

Speaking of coincidences, Ali Smith introduced this particular edition (pictured at left) of The Comforters, and I just read How to Be Both, by Ali Smith, in the St. Lucia eyes-on-a-stem edition (pictured above). I love reading, and now I love birding. Both! 

Neither of these covers is the edition I am reading. The other coincidence is plot. The Comforters, written in 1955 and published in 1957, has a metafictional component, where a character is hearing voices and a typewriter tapping and realizes she's a fictional character in a novel. Just like Stranger Than Fiction, a movie I love with Emma Thompson, Will Ferrell, Dustin Hoffman, and Queen Latifah! I can't wait to see what happens!

No comments: