Of Birds and Warm Weather

By the time this post is public, it’ll be chilly again here in Minnesota. We are in the midst of a heatwave as I write this on a Thursday afternoon, temperatures in the 80s with small piles of snow lingering in shady, hidden places. Two weeks ago, family from Wisconsin arrived on our doorstep; when they went home two days later, we had to dig their vehicle out of the snow in the driveway. Today, my partner Mick and I inspected little purple scilla that appeared in the front lawn, and we attached a bee house to the backyard fence.

Right now, I’m sitting in the front of the open patio door listening to birds chatter and twitter outside. There is a particularly noisy crow who seems to have something important to say. This extraordinarily warm day (for Minnesota in April) feels like a forbidden luxury. Perhaps it is.

I was determined not to waste this bit of sunshine and warmth, so got up and out the door around 7 a.m. this morning with my camera. Mick brewed some coffee to take along. We headed to Kaposia Landing in South St. Paul along the Mississippi River. I’d wanted to go a month ago when the eagles were moving along the river, but our fierce winter would not cooperate. So today became birdwatching day.

There is a heron rookery across the river from the Kaposia Landing. We had a clear view of the herons in their nests, albeit from far away. They are magical to watch – huge wingspans, feet out behind them as they fly, distinct outline.

There were also tree swallows checking out the nesting boxes that we thought were for bluebirds. When we researched those bird nesting boxes, we learned that tree swallows will compete with bluebirds to nest there.

The place was also rife with red-winged blackbirds, all of them singing their hearts out.

After a long, nasty-ish winter, being outside among birds alongside the Mississippi felt like a tonic. A soul-soothing, heart mending kind of tonic that reminded me there is always a balance. Life finds a way.

All photos by kcmickelson 2023

Before you go….

I have a poem in the latest issue of Gyroscope Review and the cover art is also mine. Since it’s National Poetry Month, here it is! I’m honored to be in the company of many fantastic poets.

Published by Kathleen Cassen Mickelson

Kathleen Cassen Mickelson is a Minnesota-based writer who has published work in journals in the US, UK, and Canada.

15 thoughts on “Of Birds and Warm Weather

  1. Congratulations on the poem and cover, I like both very much. I like the conversational style of your poem and the wisdom of the final line. And the birds! I bet that was a spring tonic. It’s interesting how similar the birds can be here to where you are, though the weather and habitat are quite different. Eagles along the rivers (and here on the island), swallows arriving, Red-winged blackbirds calling raucously. One of the largest, if not the largest GB heron rookery on the West coast is a few minutes from my home. This year I’m part of a small group of volunteers who monitor three cameras trained on over 300 nests throughout the breeding season. We do it from our home computers and the data will be compiled to get a better handle on what the herons may need to help keep them safe. Several hundred deserted a rookery elsewhere some years ago and no one wants to see that happen again. It’s exciting to watch them. Here’s to the moon, spring, poetry, and birds!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on publication of poem and art. I love the cover and am delighted that you found another art form to express your creativity. Thanks for taking me on the bird watching outing. Looks like you’re feeling comfortable with your new camera. I miss using mine. Gotta get over my current health setbacks so I can get out there and shoot.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for sharing your pictures of the birds. They made my day. Your poem was wonderful. A distinction between a human and a dog, but each wonderful in their own way when they are a pair!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We are drinking coffee, windows open to cool this old house down. Your blog, pics and poem are a perfect match to the sounds coming from outside.

    Ned and I both appreciate how the poem brings us back to memories of moon walks (cabin or canoing)


    Liked by 1 person

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