Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Lubbock Local Wildlife: A rare sighting

I know it'll shock you, but I was a bit of a nature nerd as a kid. [Aren't you impressed with how well I've outgrown that?] I did a lot of reading. I had a subscription to Ranger Rick magazine. I watched Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. I dragged a lot of poor creatures home. And I read a lot of books. I really liked field guides to help me identify what I ran across. (This was the PG era - pre-Google.) I had a well-worn copy of Birds of North America (which told me over and over again that we had English sparrows in our yard).
Yesterday, JG and I went for a walk during our morning break. we walked around admiring the post-thunderstorm morning and appreciating what rain can do for a dry, dry place. Just as we reached our four-story office building JG gasped. She had looked down and noticed a small, colorful, dead bird on the ground. It was a bird I had never seen in person, but I remembered it from the cover of my old Birds of North America book: a male painted bunting. (I did have to look up the name.) Even in death, the poor little guy was stunning.
I don't know if he was taken out by the thunderstorm, by the windows in the office building, or a combination of both, but it was a bittersweet thing to finally see one in person. Jennifer commented that he looked like he had been spray painted, and it was true.
May nature offer you some beauty today - and may it be a little more lively!