“May I please have everyone’s attention?!” My respectful but loudly expressed request was made to a forest full of birds. It was morning. “Everyone, please! Quiet!”
And they were silent.
“Thank you. Sorry to mess up your morning. Now, here’s the thing. The person I’d hoped to be doing this with is not in my life anymore. Is that understood?”
A twitter of confirming yeses.
“So, I’m doing this with a hand tied behind my back. Now, I love birds but don’t know a bunch of you, so I needed to get some help. Any of you heard of a bird I-D app?
Not even a peep.
“Didn’t think so. New to me too. Anyway, I turn it on, you sing, and it tells me what kind of bird you are.” I took out my not-so-smart phone and opened the app. “Okay, start singing!”
All of them, at one time.
“For the love of God! One at a time!”
Spring mornings the world is alive with birdsongs, audible jewels of sound. I have loved birds and the woods since boyhood, but making it a point to identify birds is a new endeavor.
Writing early mornings these days I can hear the birds before the sun fills the day. I am, by no stretch of the imagination, anything like the justly revered, John James Audubon (1785-1851), but, if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be wandering around in the woods, yelling out, “One at a time!” in order to get two types of birds to stop singing at the same time so I can figure out who they are.