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Book of Days

BOOK OF DAYS: A POET AND NATURALIST TRIES TO FIND POETRY IN EVERY DAY

Filtering by Tag: Winter Solstice

December 21: Winter Solstice

Kristen Lindquist

Participated today in the Thomaston-Rockland Christmas Bird Count. For the first time we found a Snowy Owl in our count area, on the Samoset golf course. The heavily barred bird looked like a rock until it moved. And then we found another, paler one, perched atop a church. Crows harassed it until it flew off over Rockland Harbor, a flurry of white wings and black in the bleak sky. The owl's yellow eyes shone pure and cold; the length and scimitar curve of its talons made me shiver. Such beauty, such deadly beauty. Like winter itself. 

We welcome winter
in the form of
two Snowy Owls.
One of today's owls, courtesy of Brian Willson (c), maineseasons.com

December 18: Counting ravens

Kristen Lindquist

I spent all my daylight hours today with two friends, Derek and Jeannette, doing a Christmas Bird Count in Jefferson, Maine. Time spent birding with friends is always good, even when it rains all day and there are few birds to be found. Before lunch, our most exciting find was four bluebirds on a utility wire. During lunch, our most exciting find was excellent grilled cheese on homemade bread at Ollie's in Jefferson village.

After lunch, despite some setbacks that limited our walking time--like a chilly wind added to the continuing rain--we had some of our best (non-food) discoveries. At a bison and red deer farm, of all places, we followed a public trail to a small covered bridge where Derek had noticed what looked like a possible raven nest when scouting the area last week. When a pair of ravens flew out upon our arrival today, his theory was confirmed.

The pair flew a short distance as we continued on. We could hear them vocalizing in their odd, quorky way nearby. Seeing ravens always thrills me--they've long been one of my favorite birds--but seeing that pair today was especially meaningful because they were the theme of my husband's and my wedding almost ten years ago; this Winter Solstice, we celebrate the non-wedding anniversary of the day on which we first considered ourselves a couple.

(For other highlights of the afternoon, we also found a flicker at the bison/deer farm, and on Damariscotta Lake, a lingering loon and a small raft of Lesser Scaups.)

Winter rain: ravens
shelter in a covered bridge.
Thinking about pair bonds.