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January 27, 2012 / Rae Spencer

Chickadees and Downy Woodpeckers

Early last year, while walking at First Landing State Park, I noticed a small flock of chickadees foraging alongside a pair of downy woodpeckers. The chickadees seemed like amateurs in such practiced company, but all of the birds appeared to enjoy success.

It was the first time I had seen chickadees exhibit this particular foraging technique, and the already beautiful day brightened. The euphoria of my new knowledge followed me home. It lingered for days, sending me back to the Park for another walk much sooner than I might otherwise have gone.

I was able to capture a few seconds with my camera, a fleeting glimpse that words alone would never convey. I find this difficult to admit, as I love words and am reluctant to acknowledge their limits. I find it even more difficult to accept that the moment can never be reproduced or shared in full. How unfair, that time and space conspire to render memory so singular and personal.

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