when ducks fly (apologies to prince)

it was okay for owls last night, better for common goldeneyes that were moving in straight-lined droves across the moonlit landscape.   

during one survey lull near yet another winter-locked, ice-covered lake, i heard a group of goldeneyes fly in, circle around several times, then leave in the direction of their arrival.  besides the whistling of wings, i distinctly heard a “what the fuck?” from one of the exasperated ducks. 

it felt good to be out in the (relative) warmth of early april.  woodcock are getting busy, aided by the seedy moonlight which means that for the next two weeks, their crepuscular peenting will become an all night affair.

i thought about all this owling and all this reflection and all this introspection and were i to lock two weeks of the year and live in those two weeks forever, they would be the last two weeks of march. it’s the time of increasing daylight and incredible skiing.  sap is starting to flow.  owls are singing and calling.  i can burn my fleece. 

sadly, i view everything as downhill from here.  i like summer, don’t get me wrong, but it is in winter where i thrive and bitch the best.

the saw-whet that sang from my back yard apparently opted for thunder bay.  i have been hoping to hear courtship song near my homestead but so far, the closest i have come is a lionel ritchie cd. 

two steps backward are thwarted by one step forward….story of my life.

i believe i have purged the nordic virus from my system, although i never rule out one last skate ski on the onion river road.  the base is still good, but given how i rode my bike 14 miles yesterday and how today, my biking muscles have announced their reawakening, it seems a good idea to work the pedaling groups rather than the skiing groups because sadly, winter is gone (owlman gently wipes tear from corner of eye). 

one survey left in this (two week) block and then it’s on to my last round.  the rivers will be open soon and the roar of a rejuvenating earth will confound  my acoustical acuity for at least 2 weeks.  when that happens, i work the areas without swollen rivers and streams and focus on the upland landscapes for their relative peace and quiet. 

saw-whets have been getting crazy-busy over the last week and between them and the frogs and the woodcock and the grouse and the mustellids and my first nest box check and my gardens and biking and the pre-bug, nocturnal beauty of the north woods, it’s a pretty good time of the year. 

not as good as the last two weeks of march, but pretty good nevertheless.


About borealbilly

i am cursed by nocturnal self-awareness. View all posts by borealbilly

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