Thursday, June 3, 2010

Song of the Swainson's Thrush

I woke this morning to the song of a Swainson's Thrush. Joy. Pure joy. This rather plain, unassuming little bird has the loveliest song of all - like Pan in the forest with a magical spiraling flute.

He arrived last night - after a long journey from Central or South America - or somewhere far to the south. I sat in the living room, simultaneously watching television, checking twitter on my lap top, and reading a new YA book. Then, in the waning light of evening, a beautiful sound came through my window, and I hastily jumped up and walked out on the porch to listen.

With tears in my eyes I recognized the thrilling song and welcomed the little bird back. (Yeah, I know, I'm a sap.) It rained all day yesterday (in fact, it's been raining for three weeks straight) and the wind blew stormy and it didn't feel like June at all. Until now. The Swainson's thrush blew in behind that storm, and he will stay only about two months, here just to raise a family amidst our tall fir trees, and sing sweetly every evening and every morn.

Thrush are shy birds, and hard to spot. I learned to recognize their sound from a CD on identifying bird songs. Yes, folks, besides being a book worm, peep, tweep, and gleek, I'm also a bird nerd. And once you've identified the song of a thrush, you never forget it.

Writers talk a lot about goals. So many words a day, or pages. I made a goal many years ago (when I was just reaching adulthood) that I would always live somewhere pretty. And for the most part (except for some very short stints in apartments in San Francisco and Nashville) I've accomplished this goal.

What are your goals in life? I hope they encompass joy. For me - it's hearing the song of a Swainson's thrush.

Let me know what brings you joy in life.


Beth said...

What a pretty little bird! I love nature and all that lives with her. That is a sweet little bird.

middle grade ninja said...

My goals in life are modest. I want to finish revising my MS, publish it, establish solid sales, and then sell another one. I also want to collect every star in Super Mario Galaxy 2. Also, I want to be first in line to see the next Batman movie. And I want to find a way to do all of this while maintaining a happy marriage:)

wilsonc said...

After reading your post I went straight to google and found an entry for Swainson Thrush. I listened to it's song and read it's description. I'll be listening for that sound for the next few months! Thank you for posting about it. You've enriched a strangers life today. My goal in life is simple; keep learning.

Linda Benson said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone. Beth and wilsonc, it's so nice to know my words and experiences actually reach someone, and wilsonc, that's a great goal! You'll probably hear a thrush singing soon, because they are pretty busy right now, especially early mornings and evenings. MG Ninja - one of my goals in life used to be to appear on Wheel of Fortune (I am SO good at that game) but Pat Sajak will probably retire before that ever happens *sigh*

Lizzie Skyrocket said...

Enjoyed your post & picture of the Swainson Thrush. I live in Va. & I don't believe we have them here. The past few years I've really enjoyed birdwatching in my own backyard. :) Hilary