I am waiting waiting waiting. Hoping the awesome birding dude at Gilson Park posts his pictures of the Long Eared Owl on the Illinois Birding Network Face Book page.
In the meantime, here’s my story.
This entire week. My legs have been dead. D.E.A.D. Dead. I have not been able to run for two miles without feeling like I have the flu.
For all you runners out there. You know what I mean!
Finally today. I read the NY Times on the patio in the sun. First time in months! Patio! Sun! Outside! Alleluia! Watching the birds coming to the pond and the feeders. I am loving this day! (Yes, My binoculars are ALWAYS by my side!)
I finish the paper. And portions of my book. It’s about 3pm. I’m thinking. I want to run! I want to run! I want to run far…ish! The day is sunny and crisp and spring is…in the air.
So I do. I do! I run!
North to Winnetka Dog Beach and south home. I run along the beach at Wilmette. I take off my shoes and run at the cusp of the water. Cold! Exhilerating!
Barefoot, I emerge at the birding trail at Gilson Park. I walk along the path, shoes in hand, sweaty, energized. Loving the day.
I come along, a dad, a granddad, and their gaggle of boys. Birding! The dad has a tripod, an awesome camera, and a bird scope.
I follow them – who wouldn’t?!?
For the record, I’m in tights, sweaty, shoeless, and smelly. It’s 40 degrees.
They’re bundled up against the weather. I’m barefoot.
Self-conscious, but I cannot help myself.
“Excuse me.” I ask the awesome birding dude with the tripod over his shoulder, “What are you looking at?”
He points out the fox sparrows on the ground and the woodpecker in the tree. Then he sort of looks at me, as if to say, yes, you are worthy. Here is the piece de resistance! “There is a Long Eared Owl in the pine tree over yonder!” He pulls out the most spectacular camera I’ve seen, ever, and shows me it’s photo on his screen.
It’s there, he points to the pine tree.
I amble over in my bare feet.
Swoon. Swoon. Swoon.
If I didn’t have the best day ever.
There he is.
A Long Eared Owl.