I need a break; an escape, I daresay. Bard College has bought Montgomery Place, and I am going to be out of a job in a week. I decide to visit my brother at Cornell- and do some intense birding.
The weather is terrible. Rain and gusts. The rain does calm down for a bit, so that when I finally get to Montezuma the weather is decent enough for me to get out of the car. There are so many geese. Hundreds and hundreds. They are all braced against the winds, many with their heads tucked. I meander along the wildlife drive, flabbergasted at the sheer number of ducks finding shelter amongst the reeds. Hundreds and hundreds of ducks. Blue-winged Teals, Green-winged Teals, Northern Shovelers and Pintails, American Wigeons, and even an Eurasian Wigeon. It is always strange to see them in their basic plumage- I learned them in alternate plumage. That is how I will always see them. Yet because of this drabness, the colorful windows on their wings are even more pronounced amidst the grayness of the day. I am sure that there is a storm just waiting to erupt from the dark clouds. The whole drive is strangely eerie, desolate, and gloomy. I feel as though my mood is enveloped by this inescapable aura- but my heart still leaps when the ducks take off. They swirl like a tornado, gather like clouds, and suddenly the ducks have become the embodiment of the storm. It is awing.
The next morning is better. The weather has done a complete 180: it is beautiful, sunny, cheerful. I head over to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for my yearly pilgrimage. It is so beautiful, dripping with nostalgia (and warblers.) I can see myself going to school here. From there, I head back to Montezuma. Today, the ducks are calm. Everything is calm. And to my delight, there are two new birds: an American Golden-Plover (333) and two Hudsonian Godwits (334).
Birds make my heart better, lighter. But I cannot stay at Cornell forever. I need to go home and figure out what I am going to do. I wish so much that I could just work with birds.