Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hometown Hospitatiy

Today was a wonderful day of birding. I was able to identify 29 species of birds, because I was able to take a private tour after school of a friends' ranch . Visiting ponds and range land we saw the regulars- Horned Larks, Western Meadowlarks, and Mourning Doves. But to our surprise we saw a large bird land. We stopped the truck and soon we saw a Golden Eagle rise into the air. Then another flew up, behind the hill a third was seen and finally a forth took to the air. I have never seen four Golden Eagles in the air together. We drove around the hill to flush them again. The immature birds were gliding low in the afternoon winds. What a priceless gift that was. I wish you could have been there.
As we visited several scattered ponds we saw many species of waterfowl- Mallards, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails, Ruddy Ducks, American Coots, Teal, American Avocet, and Killdeer.
What a spectacular day to talk of the homesteads here and the people who made their early homes in this vast prairie. We talked of the importance of water and the types of plants growing in each area on the ranch. A working knowledge of the interactions between nature and ranch life is everywhere present. I am the novice here. I wondered how to find my way back across the ranch to the gate. I conclude that I really need to spend more time in this countryside.
In just a few minutes before school and a tour after. I find myself immersed in a place that is becoming part of me. Beauty, peace, and friendship exist in Karval. I find joy in my common everyday experiences, home on range, where the deer and the antelope really do play.

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