I have spent more time in the yard this past couple of weeks since school let out. The garden is doing well and so are the weeds. We had some good heavy rain that saved me watering the yard, however it just about washed my garden out. I have hoped the plants know how to push through the mud that covers them. It has taken a few extra days but now they seem to be growing fine in sunny weather.
While in the yard a new song captured my attention. I finally got a look at the bird singing it. It is a sparrow that I was not familiar with. It has a long tail and nearly constant song. I had to take some time to identify it- so I took my camera out and did my best to get a picture of it. Its song identified it to be a Cassin's Sparrow. It is one of my new favorite birds. I love birds that sing with heart and soul. A song filled with joy and energy, not for any particular purpose, but just for fun. Their favorite stage is on top of a yucca, or a conveinent wire. I have only seen Cassin's Sparrows one other time, but now they are my constant companions singing, making my time in the yard more pleasant. Their early morning songs accompany my dreams, punctuate my work, and sing me to sleep at night.
They have no striking colors or patterns but have captured my admiration for two reasons. The first is their song which varies little and yet is a tune that gets stuck in your head. The second is their amazing flight display. I have to say it reminds me of a jet fighter landing on an aircraft Carrier. They launch themselves straight into the air and then with head reaching to the sky, feet stretched forward to the ground, tail cocked back as if a parachute land ever so gracefully in the weeds. They repeat this many times throughout the day. I appreciate the break from my yard work, which will assuredly be there after a bird break, and listen and watch.
One of the commonest visitors to the yard is the Horned Lark. They are not particularly concerned with my presence. They will land in the garden with me and sing their chime-like song, or find some fast food to nibble on.
Over the last few months I have learned to love the great maneuverability in flight they have. They are constantly on the road and seldom have a problem waiting till the last moment and darting off just in the nick of time. When with a partner they seem to delight in complicated synchronized flying- as if performing in a military air show. They carve their way across the fields. Flying low they veer suddenly upward and just as suddenly weave an intricate pattern with wing man tucked neatly in position, never missing a beat. Bursts of speed are followed by separation of the team, only to again resume the show. Was this show meant just for me, or simply a time to feel the wind beneath powerful wings and try something new, just because they can?