At 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning the Old Fool was parked at the Reith Interpretive Center in Goshen ready to join a group of birders The lot was empty. He called a friend and learned that he was an hour early. Having free time he moved accross the road to a lovely spot in Shanklin Park along the Elkhart River.
There he saw some female mallard ducks, a flock of rough-winged swallows, and a beautiful goldfinch that was sipping a drink from some shallow water.
By 8:00 a.m., eight birders were ready to walk into the woods. The Old Fool is not the practiced birder he was as a boy on Blue Berry Acres in Pennsylvania. He did not always recognize the calls of the birds identified by others, and was not as quick to see the birds others saw. Indigo bunting, red eyed vireo, tufted titmouse, coopers hawk, cardinals, yellow warbler, red bellied and downy woodpeckers were a few the birds entered into the log kept by the naturalist who guided us.
The Old Fool walked at least two miles that morning. That is more walking then he has done at any one time in 2012. If he does this every Wednesday morning for the remainder of the year he will do well.
When the birders disbanded the Old Fool went to Goshen Public Library. In that parking lot his cell phone rang. Imagine the pleasure of a call from one of his Florida friends. She was calling from the hospital where she has had surgery. She willl be going home in a day or two.
There are hazards to walking in the woods. When the Old Fool discovered one of them that afternoon at home. He was in his favorite chair for TV watching and sleeping when the phone rang. This time it was from his brother in florida. While talking the Old Fool happened to run his fingers through the little hair that he has. He felt something unusual in his hair and pulled free a tick, a potential carrier of lyme disease.
The Old Fool is not so foolish as to allow a little tick to keep him from birding, It may mean that he will buy the protection he has seen on sale at Walgreens.