It had been a hard winter, although winter was not a word familiar to the Meadowlark, it had no comprehension of words, just sounds. Angry sounds, attractive sounds, hungry sounds, panic sounds. Now it was time to leave, to go north, but Meadowlarks don’t really know what north is. The other Meadowlarks, the ones that are always here in the winter place are losing patience with the ones that are not and it was time to go north.
It wasn’t so far, although Meadowlarks have no real idea of distance, it was just from where it went in winter to where it went in summer. It was still cold, very cold, although Meadowlarks have no concept of hot or cold either, it was cold.
The summer place, the place where it was from was different every year, although Meadowlarks have no way of measuring a year, but it did change. Before, it was home, summer home, the summer place and it lived there, in the summer. Now summer was coming and it had to be there, in the summer place.
The Meadowlark had been taught about shapes, good shapes and bad shapes, and there were lots of bad shapes on the way but, being a Meadowlark it didn’t really know what a raptor was, apart from it being a bad shape, always a bad shape. In the summer place were good shapes, sometimes bad shapes but mostly good shapes, it was the summer place.
It was close now, everything looked familiar, the hills, the fields, the shapes, all looked like it looked every time it made its way to the summer place, mostly. This would be the fourth time it had gone to the summer place from the winter place. The winter place was smaller every year, less to find food and shelter, more Meadowlarks in less space, every year less.
The summer place, where is the summer place? There is the shape of the hills and the shape of the new hills and a new shape, a shape on the summer place, there is no more summer place, what to do, got to find another summer place but it’s late and the other Meadowlark will be looking too, what if they didn’t find each other, they always found each other at the summer place, always.
No summer place, no other Meadowlark, lots of other Meadowlarks but no summer place Meadowlark. What to do, where to go, think, although Meadowlarks have no concept of think as far as we know. No more Meadowlarks from the summer place, no more. Move, keep moving.
Bad shape, oh!
Please forgive me for this rather soppy little story but it was inspired by my finding that some urgent pizza place or something has been built on a meadow in Vaudreuil that has had Meadowlarks for the past 12 years. It was right on the Vaudreuil exit of the 40, to the north, and now it is gone and so too will the Meadowlarks. They can fly though and so can find another summer place, right? Wrong, because the other summer places are also going too, so there are not enough to go around. The winter place won’t be far behind either. Sometimes I wish I could apologise to the Meadowlarks on behalf of the humans and to explain why a Pizza Express is so urgently needed, although I’d have to lie, obviously.
This is known as blatant subliminal advertising!
I actually went out today. The first stop was Hungry Bay and it was cold. After a bit of wandering I ended up back at St-Lazare sand pits, it only makes sense, well to me it does. I did a hawk watch, not a long one but productive. At one point I had three Golden Eagles in the air together, two adults and a second year. I also saw my first Red-winged Blackbirds of the year and a Rough-legged Hawk, a welcome pits year tick.
It looks like we have turned a corner with the weather, well a bit, and we are seeing a steady shift away from the cold over the next few days, -17°C this morning for a while, and spring can finally get cracking.
Incidentally, I will get around the putting the Q & A thing I mentioned a few posts ago although it will be just a book plug post for those that have need of a picture fix. Thanks to those who sent ideas.
The photos for today are mostly Red-tailed Hawk. I did a collage thing because I was bored and I did an arty one as it flew past the Moon (relatively). The other shot is the Mother of all record shots, a Golden Eagle taken from St-Lazare sand pits as it soared over Nunavut.
UPDATE 25th-March another three Golden Eagles plus first of the season Killdeer and Red-shouldered Hawk.