One of the cool things about being a birder is that it gets you out into the big, beautiful world. Sure, you can sit in your house and watch the feeders, but the show doesn't change all that much.
I try to keep my spirits up when the birding is less than exciting. At times, there are so many wonderful things out there, I forget that the birds are absent.
At a recent visit to East Fork Lake, I found art....
Like a crop circle, but made of gravel.
A smiley face was next to it. Someone had a lot of time on their hands. Why were they just sitting in a parking lot at a gorgeous state park?
Man-made works in a forest are not always pretty:
This tree was completely girdled by a wire, and it had obviously been there for ages. The bottom half of this 50-foot tree was riddled with gaping holes (good screech owl and woodpecker nesting spots!) and the top was still whole. And the tree was alive. That never fails to blow me away. In all of our arrogance and ignorance, we do and do and do things to nature, and nature continues to strive to go on. Rock on, tree.
The best art that can be found is a masterpiece that had no help from us:
A tiny cup nest, weathered and empty. Once holding a handful of new life, it now clings to a sycamore sapling and withstands winter, and awaits spring, glorious spring. Something made of grass and lichen and maybe a touch of bird spit still holds its shape.
Could YOU make something like that? And make it to last? I know I couldn't.