Monday, February 23, 2009

The Path Well Taken

I am truly starting to believe that everything happens for a reason. Birding to me has always been about song birds. How I love them all. They are colorful, tiny and sing the most beautiful songs. I could spend hours watching them and often do. As most birders know, many of the song birds we love so much are not around as much during the winter. This has been frustrating to me until I decided to open up my eyes and see what else is out there. In the past two weeks I am paying more attention to birds of prey and water fowl.


I am really starting to enjoy looking at the various mergensers that live within the Blackstone River. I find most of them along the bike trail I go to almost every weekend. The one above was swimming by herself as I watched her totally transfixed by her graceful swimming and the gentle ripples of water she made with each splendid stroke.
The male hooded mergenser is such a beauty. I watched a group of them on Sunday morning appreciating all of their colorful feathers and markings. As I watched, my thoughts started wandering and crept into my mind. I have used this bike path since it first opened which was approximately 4 years ago. In the past, I would lace up my sneakers and run the length of the path with a timer to see if I could break my record each time I ran it. I would use various points of the river as benchmarks on progress and measurement.




Were the ducks here all of this time and I had just never noticed? How could I not have seen a bird as lovely as this even if I wasn't into birding? It didn't take me long to get my answer........ I was too busy running miles, projects, schedules and responsibilities to pay any attention to much of anything. I watch the ducks fly off and feel somehow cheated of the first half of my life by my own doings. All that time there was so much out there for me to see, but I never thought to open my eyes.



The bike path to me is no longer a running track. Most of the people who use it are walkers, runners or bicyclists. We all know each other by now and nod our polite hellos as we pass but they all leave me far behind. I am the one who has noticed the beaver dam over where the heron will build her nest. I am the one who noticed a new bulb flower growing slowly in the corner near the pine tree and I am the one who notices the mergensers swimming gracefully along the river.




I guess it's true what they say about one choosing ones own path in life. Many of us use this same path every day, but for our own various reasons. I walk along the Blackstone River happy that I have finally found true happiness. It is indeed the path well taken.














27 comments:

Kallen305 said...

BTW: I like to comment on other peoples blogs but have not been able to comment on blogs where the comments are embedded. I have never been able to do that at work, when I sneak a quick peek at something and now I can't do it at home if you have both and embedded post with word verification.

So if I am not commenting on your blogs, it is because I can't.

Abe Lincoln said...

Embedded comments don't work on much except the standard, basic, blogs that Blogger puts out. I have switched all of my blogs back to the basic full page comment mode.

Looking forward to your new profile picture on my blog someday soon.

I liked your ducks but the water seemed awfully cold to me.

Brookville Ohio

Kallen305 said...

Abe, I thought I was a follower on that blog? Will check it out. BTW: Your blog is one that I can't comment on???

T and S said...

So slowly but steadily you are moving away from the Kitchen Window birder profile and that's really cool. There's so much to nature when you explore the wilderness near and far. Congratulations

Shellmo said...

I love the "path" you have taken! The merganser photos were fantastic - and I loved the wake from the one in the first photo! Amazing.

Jayne said...

What a beautiful post Kallen. It really is about taking time to see and smell the roses, isn't it? Have a wonderful day.

Kelly said...

...I like this post. It's so true. Slowing down to observe is more rewarding than rushing around doing things! A lot of my friends have told me they can't comment on my site. I must be embedded...I have no idea. I'll have to look into it!

ShySongbird said...

Hi from the UK again,
I do agree about opening ones eyes to what is out there, I only started my blog recently and have already found it makes me more observant. I find myself looking at things in more detail than I once did and yes I think I must pay more attention to water fowl in future, there is an amazing amount of beauty to see in the wonderful world of nature.
All good wishes from the UK.

Steve B said...

Good for you! We are delighted to have you out in the field keeping an eye on Central MA. I don't get the hoodies that you get. :(

Say, I'm going to do a back link here to your American Black Duck shot from my Mallard/American Black Duck post.

madcobug said...

All those ducks are beautiful. I am one who has always paid attention to nature all around me. That flower bud is outstanding, Helen

NCmountainwoman said...

Great post! We all need to slow down and see the wonder around us.

ramblingwoods.com said...

Now you know why I love waterfowl and you have some beautiful ones...

Mary said...

These are beautiful. I've gotten so much more interested in water fowl in the last year. On our own pond we only get Mallards and Canadas, but since seeing some of the other wonders out there in the water, I keep wanting to see more! I'd love to see a loon in particular.

Deborah Godin said...

I can't comment on blogs with embeds either, very frustrating. I hadn't noticed a word verif connection, though. Will pay moe attention. These birds are just great, and so are your thoughts on birding and appreciating the process. Isn't it a hoot to watch male Hoodies slowly raise and lower their "hoods"!

mo_inoh said...

i really love your pictures. I to love to take pictures of place i have been and seen.

Mildred said...

Hi Kallen, I've had trouble leaving a comment also but I do love your blog. Your post today is so true. As we go thru life, our priorities seem to change, and it is nice to take the time to "notice" all of God's beauty around us.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I love your post today, Kim. We all go through life taking all kinds of different roads and paths... Sometimes one road will lead us to another and then another. I'm so glad you are enjoying the 'water birds' also!!!!

Hugs,
Betsy
P.S. Like your new thumbnail...

troutbirder said...

Very well stated. I've not given up fly fishing but now instead of thinking wow there's a bunch of some kind of yellow warbler over the stream... I can wwhip out my field binocs and say wow there's a palm warbler and add it to my list when I get home.

Craig Glenn said...

Great Post!

I totally get what you are saying, calculating the time while running, yea I am ocd too! lol

So glad you are finding the peace of nature. Thanks for supporting my blog and I look forward to hearing more about your adventures!

Craig

The Early Birder said...

Kallen, I think you should change the word rediscovering to rediscovered in your profile. From my perspective you have come a long way in a short time. The appreciation of what you see & hear could not be better explained than in the words you have posted.
Lol Frank.

Lynne said...

Kallen, this post is so beautifully and expressively written. I think you've moved beyond the kitchen window too. It's funny how loving and learning and then knowing one small thing draws you right into more.


BTW- What does imbedded comments mean?

Salty said...

I know how you feel. Since rediscovering photography and focusing on nature I now realize just how much I was missing.

BTW, I love those hoodies!

Ruth said...

I love reading your blog and experiencing your enthusiasm for your new path. Your "hoodies" are beautiful and you have skunk cabbage flowers up already!!! Spring has come to you.
Lynne- embedded comments are a new option on Blogger and show up at the end of the post instead of on a separate window or page. I tried them briefly but they gave some of my visitors grief. I find word verification frustrating too at times.

Kallen305 said...

Thanks all. It's funny how nature has opened up my mind to feelings I have had but just never realized it before. The birds have taught me more about life than any book, therapist of Dr. Phil show could ever teach me about myself.

The kitchen window was just the beginning of this journey.

The embedded comments are still preventing me from commenting on peoples blogs which is kind of a bummer as I like doing that first thing every morning when I wake up. :o(. I know others are having problems too so if you blog and are not getting any comments that may be why.

Kallen305 said...

BTW: Ruth, thanks for letting me know what that is. I had no clue and was mystified. I can't wait to go back this weekend to see if has grown more. HA!

Kelly said...

Kallen...I switched to full-page comment. Does it work now?

Leedra said...

This post is so true. Sometimes it amazes me that it takes people so long to slow down to see the beauty God has put around them. That is why a birdfeeder and birdfeed is a great gift. Sometimes that is all it takes to get somebody to start slowing down some to see what is right there in front of them. This post is a great reminder.

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