Saturday, March 1, 2014

Human Watching

Just for fun
I watch the 
bird people
(birders, their
vocation, I
standing on the
sidewalk in front
of my house
staring through
their binoculars
at the mountain
visage across the
way – fun because
I watch their
watching through
my own binoculars
capturing them
for but a moment
in their ever-seeking
migratory pattern
stopped mid-flight
but for a moment
along this part 
of their annual trek
heads all turned in
the same direction
alert to possibilities
as unaware they are
that I stand behind
them, the glass
of a zoo – theirs
or mine – who can
say? – separating us
giving me the perfect
opportunity to study
them in repose

Every year round this time, folk come from I-do-not-know where, park alongside the road and into the road and huddle in groups seeking whatever bird has caught their fancy (I suspect it’s eagles they seek but wonder if it’s smaller varieties, since they seem to be looking as much at my neighbor’s bird-feeders as the mountain) with their binoculars, prompting someone to write the annual warning letter-to-the-editor in our local paper issuing the kind of statements you do to children, such as (1) you’re visiting, but I actually live here, so please try to be aware when you’re trekking on someone’s land and be polite about it, for example, by asking first; and my own favorite (2) please look both ways before you step into the road.

When I awoke this morning, I saw the usual spring gaggle of cars alongside the road (ignoring the several parking lots immediately adjacent to their location) and my first thought was that there must be a funeral at the Methodist Church and wondering who it might be.  But when I noted the absence of cars in the parking lots (where we actually park before parking alongside and into the road, fancy that!), I realized it must be something else and then noticed the collection of observers.  I sometimes think to go out and offer refreshment, but am fairly certain I wouldn’t be welcomed as noise, of course, startles birds away.  Alas, hospitality blunted by a conversation had only in my head.  But I have my story to tell about watching the watchers with my own binoculars.  It sure tickled me.

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