Blackbirds are back

Hit and Miss #340

Thursday, as T and I walked the Rideau River, I thought I heard that familiar, beloved call, of the red-winged blackbird, back from its winter adventures. I didn’t spot any, though, until yesterday morning, when I heard, then saw, three more, in Riverain Park. Others in Ottawa are spotting them, too—a statement I can make thanks to the beauty of crowdsourced birding data. (Jer Thorp has much more to say, and teach, on that.)

I found myself paying intentional attention to the birds, no doubt shaped in part by currently reading Hild (which I’ve meant to read for years, thanks to the encouragement of Mandy Brown and others), which ought to have the subtitle “The Power of Paying Attention”. It helps that the birds have been plentiful—from the nearby river, to the lilac beside our feeder, to the big evergreen nearby in which a Cooper’s hawk perches. (I’ve been distracted on one or two video calls while watching it out the office window—paying attention to the wrong thing, or the right thing, I don’t know which.)

Despite the time-change-induced forcible jet lag, today’s been a good day, capping off a good week (the birds, yes, but also biking, and other life excitement!!). While T’s been working this weekend, I:

  • measured out a car to figure out what length of wood I could easily bring home
  • built a shooting board (a workshop appliance that makes it easier to reliably square the edges and sides of boards—though one could also take shots off it, once the chisels are safely away)
  • got a call from my Nonno, telling me that La bohème is on the radio tonight, and that he’ll think of me listening to it while he listens to it (would you also like in on this? Classical FM is where it’s at, “Sunday Night at the Opera” at 9pm Eastern)

My Nonno also shared some encouragement for my woodworking, a life philosophy I try to, well, live: “That’s good, you go to school to learn, but you have to keep doing things; to hear it is one thing, but you have to experience it.” Maybe it rings true for you, too.

All the best for the week ahead! (For you opera listeners—I’ll be thinking of you tonight!)