04 May 2010

Birdsong of a Carthage Evening After a Spring Rain

A dove, a finch, a robin and a twittering swift from the skies above were the joys of local birds on a really fine evening of spring in Carthage in midtown Omaha.

The dove cooed from a prominent rooftop, its throative and expansive expression sent a proclamation of its particular place in the neighborhood. It was a message that could not be missed.

Along the way, from the upper limbs of a tree, expressions of song by a boisterous robin - ignorant of any human pedestrian - conveyed its claim of its territory where it would build a nest and raise a hearty brood. Along the sidewalk's way, another of this species didn't go anywhere - despite an intruder - as it had bits of a mealy worm to finish upon the lawn of a house. Bit by bit the pieces disappeared, and once done, so did the bird as it flew onward in the evening, up into a tree along the street.

Off in the distance, the house finch whose sticky home is built on its own, contributed its song to the clutter of the evening chorus of song .

Above it all, the swift flitted along in its never-ending quest for another bit of flying bugly matter - taste not considered - as their survival was reliant on eating pesky bugs and having a safe haven to breed on some brick wall of some unfettered chimney of a the house of some ignorant person.

The skies it traversed were a profound and clearing blue - perhaps cerulean would be a suitable term - but there were certainly itsy-bitsy wisps of delicate cloudiness remaining from the hearty billows of a spring thunderstorm. The cement walks and other such artificial surfaces were still wet from the rain. The air - the atmosphere breathed - was fresh with a distinctive smell of appetizing barbecue on the grill. How enticing but unrealized.

It was an appropriate time to sweep away and gather the fallen maple tree seeds, which had twirled downward in a twisted spiral, from the subdued heights of the majestic trees. The gathered stuff placed at the curb would be taken away during tomorrow as yard waste by the collectors with their noisy trucks.

Not to be ignored for their song is never subdued, and the mighty males are always flashy, were the great red cardinals, with a proper name of Northern Cardinal. A couple were expressive during the walk around, and there were certainly others within the district. Each of the manly birds hopefully had a bit of ground where they and their distinctively, yet oh so subtly colored and attractive female partner, could find a dense and safe haven. A suitable place among the foliage, and away from dogs, cats and other threats that might drastically end any effort to successfully raise a brood of itty-bitty nestlings, would allow them to nourish a brood that could fledge and continue the birds' heritage.

Always raucous here have been the grackles. Though the ample and free food at the garage-side feeder is gone, they continue to like the big pine tree near the front of the house, on the north side of the driveway. They are usually always heard outside while attention is given to writing various scribbles of one sort or another in the basement of a residence in this neighborhood. On this particular evening in early May, their antics can be ignored as they expressed and did nothing enough to cause any attention to be given to their usual ubiquitous presence.

The boisterous flicker was busy elsewhere as well, as its proclamations were unheard in the evening, though it has been vividly expressive for many times in earlier days, up on the tree-snag on North 49th Street. There is no way that this pecker of wood could be ignored as its vivacious expressions can be heard from elsewhere during phone calls!

With spring having sprung on this hill of a midtown Missouri River city, there are certainly other birdistas - to coin a phrase based on the common term of fashionistas used to express humanistic endeavors in downtown - around to listen for and appreciate in their own manner. A bit west along Happy Hollow, a bunch of Cedar Waxwings were once again in a couple of trees along the boulevard. Warblers of a new spring are being expressive in the woods of the midtown creeks at Memorial Park, and south among the environs of Elmwood Park.

Also in the neighborhood, is the finely spotted Downy Woodpecker among the mix of the evening, as it announced - in its typical manner - when it found a bit of bark on a tree to perch in its search for something suitable to eat, as it does each and every day.

The final recognition to denote is a Northern Cardinal, singing away in its own way, expressing, on and on, again and again, its spring place in the neighborhood in a manner typical at so many other places in these early days of May, 2010. Thus ends this day, listening to the grandeur of the singing cardinal.

Spring is fresh and new in its own manner, and a condition that can be appreciated in its wonderful presentation of song in Carthage.

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