Roaming in the woods usually starts on a trail. I visit the same places often and know the shape of the land well, so when an impulse to go off the trail comes, I just go with it.
It’s a green world in the forests of BC’s interior even though large fires are still burning not too far away. The temperatures have been up to 38C in the last week.
So the impulse hits and I slip off the trail in a slow roam up a hillside, soaking up the life, loving it and hugging it with my heart, mind, and soul. A couple of grouse burst out of high limbs and rounded the top of the hill and over to the side exposed to afternoon sun which had not swung around yet. A small bird more less exploded out of the ground beside me and in an erratic flight landed on the ground 20 feet away.
Oh no, it’s injured.
I approached it and before raising my camera, I knew.
I, for a moment had swallowed the bait, hook line and sinker! This was a mother bird pretending to be injured to lure me away from her young.
I stepped back to where she popped up and among the grey rocks and needles nestled in a shallow depression among rocks blending in very well were two gawky looking little chicks.
This Common Nighthawk was well camouflaged too, remaining in her broken wing position.
I felt it was a gift to be so close and see this new life and be so close to her.
I was recording the chicks when a hornet started nibbling on my thigh reminding me not to stay too long. So I quickly covered them from all angles and let Mom lead me away. I wanted her to know she had done her job of protecting them and could return to them.
To stay longer than a few minutes could put those little lives in peril without her around to guard them. I was not a real threat but she didn’t know that and wasting her energy and theirs was not my intention, so my visit with them was short; trying for her and meaningful to me.
These ground nesting birds choose the best spot, hers would have been in full sun on that 38 degree day. These small creatures are so resilient.
As I left her behind, I thanked her for teaching more about motherhood.
Whenever that impulse to go off the trail comes, there’s always something.
From out in the Spiritual Wilderness – Quiet Walker