Oh, the humanity

Anyone who read yesterday’s little anti-Mother’s Day screed will probably guess correctly that breakfast in bed was not on my agenda today. Not that it ever is. Checking the weather on my phone is what I do in bed every morning. How many layers will I need today? I was up before the sun today and by just a bit after six AM, we were well on our way down to Magee Marsh, on the southwestern shore of Lake Erie. Head down US 23 from the Planet Ann Arbor and hang a left at Toledo attempt to navigate the tangle of freeways that eventually spit you out east of Toledo.

The occasion? Mother’s Day happens to be scheduled right at the time that the warblers make their way north for the winter. When the warblers get to the southern shore of Lake Erie and there is an on-shore wind (like there was today, boy oh boy), they seek shelter and rest and food before continuing their journey northward. And so, a long boardwalk has been built through the woods between the marsh and the lake at Magee Marsh that provides a perfect venue for birders to view the many species of beautiful songbirds making their way north.

Although I love seeing the birds, I am not a birder. I am not even a naturalist. I am a person who loves to be outside walking or skiing or kayaking. I recognize a few random species of plants or birds or aminals and I get excited about them sometimes. Mostly I just like to be outside. The GG is quite a bit more serious about birds than I am. He likes to try to identify them but doesn’t keep a life list or geek out on cameras, et al. (Er, maybe he would like to do that…) For me today, the humans were almost as interesting as the birds. The folks that congregate at Magee Marsh come from all over and they get there early. Rumor had it that Ken Kaufman was floating around there somewhere, just to drop a name. I don’t know what he looks like so I don’t know if I saw him or not. The boardwalk gets crowded in some areas and I have to be careful, when I stop to wait for the GG (because he is looking at something and I am ahead of him), not to attract attention. Like today when I was looking off into space and a perfectly nice woman asked me if I had seen the purple capped black throated green breasted vireo. Uh, no… But of COURSE, she asked me about a REAL bird. bdaa bdaa blup blup blup…

On the other hand, a whole group of folks were focused on one particular bird high up in the trees and I was standing ahead of them waiting for the GG and a Palm Warbler was right there flitting around in front of me. Not that I knew what species it was…

Anyway. It was COLD out this morning and the wind had Lake Erie whipped up into a frenzy. I had gloves and enough polartech layers to keep me warm enough, brrrr, sort of. I would’ve been hot if I had been walking at my usual pace but it is slow on the boardwalk and there is lots of humanity. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed it all greatly. It was MY idea! I will never have one of those huge scope-camera-type-things. I don’t think. Anyway. I think I used up a lot of energy staying warm and so I was dead tired when we got home this afternoon. But I still managed to put a whole bunch of Impatiens flowers into pots.

G’night and good Mother’s Day or Warbler Migration or whatever. Love y’all. -KW Oh and click here for a few photoos of Magee Marsh, unfortunately not too many birds.

4 Responses to “Oh, the humanity”

  1. Marquis Says:

    KW & GG, I hope that you two too take up birding. It is a pastime that Anne and I have only recently acquired. Sibley’s is our bible on this subject. Afterwards, we enjoy identifying the birds that we’ve photographed, together.

  2. Margaret Says:

    I think you should become a birder–you are out in nature a lot and see so many of them. I’m glad your impatiens got planted; Ashley helped me pick out plants at the nursery today then we weeded and planted together. I’m going to be sore tomorrow. But it was nice to be out in the sun. (it was over 70 here)

  3. Dona Says:

    I first heard about Magee Marsh from a fellow twitterer (twit?) Deborah (redcrew) and plan on stopping off there sometime on my way from Bethesda to Elgin (IL) — quite possibly this June as I’m traveling solo this time. I hope there are still birds there when and if I visit.

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