Fresh Eyes and a Fresh Perspective
by John Shenot
Welcome back! I hope everyone had a great summer. One of my highlights was a visit from Heidi and Chuck, close friends from Wisconsin. Heidi is an avid novice birder, still learning to ID birds, but exceptionally observant. She was eager to see some Colorado birds that canít be found in Wisconsin. One day we drove up the Poudre for a day in the mountains. Although the birds that day were few and far between, I was determined to entertain Heidi and I had a backup plan. So, on the way home, we stopped at one of those small resort businesses that keeps hummingbird feeders out front. The feeders were swarming with Broad-tailed Hummingbirds. Heidi stood in their midst, mesmerized, even giddy. "Theyíre like faeries!" she said. "Iím surrounded by faeries!" I told her to be on the lookout for any that looked a little different, and it was Heidi who spotted a lone Rufous Hummingbird. I was almost as mesmerized as Heidi, and my wife and Chuck enjoyed it too. Later Heidi posted a hummingbird video on Facebook with the caption: "And today I found my happy place."
Itís so easy to become bored with the beauty of the commonplace. Sometimes it takes fresh eyes and a fresh perspective to remind us of all that nature can offer, but this is a gift we all can give. We can open other peopleís eyesóneighbors, co-workers, relatives, and especially kidsóto the beauty of the commonplace. The joy of this kind of experience is available to each of us, almost every day, right outside our door. In my backyard, on late summer afternoons, I enjoy watching dragonflies buzzing overhead. Swallows and chimney swifts dance on unseen winds. Bees and insects feed in the herb garden. The closer I look, the more interesting it becomes. There probably isnít a "rare" creature anywhere in sight, but searching for rarity and novelty are only one way to find happiness. Enjoying whatís there is another.
My advice to you is to make a habit of observing and enjoying the commonplace. You donít have to understand it all, or know the names of everything, or study it like a scientist. And itís okay to seek out the rare and exotic. But a true appreciation for nature begins with an appreciation for the commonplace. Perhaps most importantly, I urge you to share your passion and enthusiasm with those around you. Itís contagious!
Find FCAS on Facebook for Field Trip Information
FCAS has a Facebook page where we post announcements about upcoming field trips, last minute changes to scheduled trips, and high-lights of most of our outings. Just click on the ďLike" button in the plugin to Like our page! Our announcements should then appear on your wall. You can also click on "Fort Collins Audubon Society" to be taken directly to the Facebook page. Note: All field trips are also announced in the Ptarmigan and on our website.