I was lucky to receive a scholarship this past summer to take part in a workshop offered by Trees For Tomorrow in Eagle River Wisconsin, "Birding by Habitat." For five days, we went out into various habitats of the Northwoods, refining our understanding of why one might encounter Northern Parula Warblers in old hemlock forests. It was a wonderful interlude. While not everyone attending the week was a fanatical birder, all had an interest in being out in nature and learning more about these feathered creatures that share our planet.
As I reviewed my photos taken during this week in June, I couldn't help but smile at this Bobolink. We visited an old field one warm afternoon, filled with daisies. As we spread out and walked slowly into the field, little sensory delights would appear. A butterfly. A burst of color from an out-of-place wildflower among the daisies. Then suddenly, flying up from the field, the bubbling song of the R2D2 bird, the Bobolink. Sometimes one would fly up in song, then drop back onto a stem. Others would simply descend back into the blanket of daisies. We watched as pairs would briefly chase, then alight on the weathered fence at the edge of the field. My roommate for the week, Ann, just lay down among the daisies and enjoyed. She said all we needed was a little girl in a prairie dress to run through the daisies.
Those Bobolinks have no doubt begun their journey to South America now, and the daisies are long since dried to seed. I still have the pleasant memories of that afternoon in the field in June. Like much of life, sometimes we have to grab these pleasant memories to pull us through as the days shift toward their inevitable darkness. Through those dark days, one can look back at these sublime moments, giving us hope they will return to our lives once again.