A Walk in the Park

The day was remarkably warm, and I couldn’t resist a walk in the park. Neither could anyone else, it seemed, because the parking lot and trails bustled with walkers, joggers, and bicyclists. Needless to say, most of the park’s wild residents were in hiding. Even so, this downy woodpecker lingered near the road, and an egret paused at my camera’s most distant limit.

Near the end of my walk, I stumbled into a herd of mourning cloak butterflies.

And finally, just before I reached my car, I noticed a commotion across the road. A large, mixed flock of warblers, chickadees, and other small birds flitted through the underbrush, staying long enough for me to catch a single frame of bluebird.

After they moved on, I hesitated, as I always do when it’s time to leave. My reluctance was rewarded when a pileated woodpecker flashed by and lit just a few yards away. She and I spent a few curious moments sizing each other up, then she went ahead with her foraging as I fumbled with my camera.

And now I’m home again, relaxing in my office. The dog is asleep at my feet, her arthritic legs and gray muzzle twitching as she dreams mysterious dog dreams. The cats are sprawled in splashes of sun, whiskers ruffled by a cool breeze that promises I will have to close the windows soon.

Soon, but not just yet…