I know..I know. Everyone complains right now about travel –the strait-jacket restrictions, barriers to healthy, care-free vacations overseas and in our home countries, during this covid-19 pandemic.
Spontaneous Air Flights Impossible
I feel the same pain. It can be more complicated, when one has loved ones and family living in other provinces in a huge, freakin’ expansive country like Canada. Then layered on top, several family members who work full-time in various health care facilities in Toronto. I just can’t take a spontaneous airflight to see family. It’s not that simple.
Last year, I didn’t even sneak off on a bus side trip to the Rocky Mountains and Banff. What was the point if I couldn’t even rest easily inside a restaurant over a great meal there, after a hike or bike ride? I know other locals have tripped off to the Rockies by car for a day trip and back. They just don’t talk much about it because it really requires a lot of precaution and distancing from other tourists.
For me, the mountains can wait and will be there when a vaccine arrives.
So during covid time, it has been simple bike rides and local walks where I had some more delightful encounters with Nature. Just be patient. Aim for the right time of the day –either early morning or just before sunset. That’s just right for me since I’m not keen cycling long in night-time blackness, even with bike lights in a dark expansive park with leafy corners and turns. Besides, I’m still working full-time from home.
Zooming into Treetop Lumps
For surprise encounters, I’ve learned to observe for strange lumps high up in the trees. Sometimes it’s just 2 tree branches twinning together. Or a bird. Twice I’ve spotted a light blue feathery oval lump high up –it was a blue heron. Usually I’ve seen them, standing one-legged by the water’s edge or flapping elegantly overhead.
Once, the blue heron high-riser, was sleeping with its back to walkers. Another time, 2 blue herons were hanging out on a half nude tree over a pond, for whole world to see. The blue heron at the highest branch tier, was cleaning its chin under its beak, while balanced on one grippy strong leg. Then later it bent down in a yoga-like stretch to see below. Its feathery slick back fronds fell forward –like punk rocker haircut.
Later in the evening, this same funny heron was featured in several local birder Internet photos. Clearly a local rock star in bird kingdom.
Other times, it’s trying to find where that bird rocket lit off inside the tree. Especially if the bird is a tiny zipper through the air. Often some bike park paths are lined with thick bushes, where several birdie zippers panick dive across my path ahead, into the undergrowth before I reach them. Not sure what they are –warblers, sparrows or finches perhaps.
The cutest birds are the tiny plump ones and I have yet to capture hardly any by camera. They whizz by in lightning speed.
Just Living Magic Fleeting Moments
Or another time during a late fall, a downy woodpecker with its red back cap, was flitting alongside with me, from tree to next tree. I didn’t stop to haul my camera from pannier since I was afraid it would flee forever. Too bad, I didn’t take the stop for a camera. It would have left me eventually anyway.
So wander over to your nature parks nearby or backyard for moments of hidden Nature –alive, flighty but it’s there for you already. You just need to be quiet, alert and revisit several times. One day Nature will pop by, for a few seconds to exchange curious glances with you.