New Birds in the Big Empty

It’s been a pretty intense day out here in the far west. This morning I got a text from my cousin Linda’s daughter. I haven’t heard from Linda in decades, and I’ve tried to find her, but to no avail. I was SO happy to get that text especially since it didn’t have bad news. Within the hour my cousin and I were talking on the phone. We grew up together. She is the closest thing to a blood-sister I have.

Linda and me in 1954

We talked for an hour and learned that we both love dogs and we both have and have had many dogs at a time. We learned that we missed each other (I think we both knew that already). She lives in Albuquerque, only three hours away, so when the Pandemic has resolved itself somehow, I will head down.

In the fullness of time it was the appointed hour for a meander with Bear in the Big Empty. One of the wonderful things about the Big Empty that I can only TELL you is that it is SILENT unless the wind is blowing. You get in there a ways and you don’t hear cars and you don’t hear anything but wind and birds and nothing. Today was one of those mystically silent days and Bear and I, well I, sat on a rock and listened to the nothing. It’s incredible. Another thing about doing that for a while is that animals forget you’re there, particularly birds forget you’re there. After a while I heard the flap of large wings behind me and soon an osprey flew over and past me toward a meal in the field somewhere. Then I knew I’d seen what I’d come to see and it was time to head back.

It was just a gorgeous day out there. At one point, Bear stopped because she heard a meadowlark. I guess we all train our dogs to do what we care about. 🙂 It was cool and breezy without being windy, and I met a new bird, the Yellow Headed blackbird. He is beautiful

I didn’t take this photo but this is what he looks like

However, I listened a long while to his call and then I decided to share it with you.

It’s been an intense kind of day but a very sweet one. On our way out to the Refuge I got to talk to the little boy and his mom and we made a GREAT plan to find Monarch Butterfly larva or cocoons (depending) when this dumb virus is over.

20 thoughts on “New Birds in the Big Empty

  1. Sweet video. Your Bear is even cuter “in person.” Love the photo of you and your cousin too. Interesting how you happen to live close enough for a car ride. 🙂

  2. I have to agree – the look that Bear gives you is so adoring and concerned. You are so lucky to have a friend like her!! The Big Empty isn’t as empty as you’d think – all the birds and of course the wind fills up the space. Loved the videos!

  3. A very pretty blackbird. We have the brown-head cowbird, another blackbird, but one who doesn’t nest but drops eggs in any nest it finds. How the babies know they are brown-headed cowbirds in a question no one can answer. Anyway, your birds are MUCH prettier!

  4. I am so glad you were able to make contact with your cousin again, Martha. ❤ Lucky you are a famous author so Linda's daughter could track you down. 🙂 I imagine the whole experience made the Big Empty seem rather mystical. You are never alone when you have Bear, the meadow larks and that gorgeous yellow-headed blackbird to keep you company. That alone would have made my day.

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