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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day Redux

My own Valentine's Day display included, as you now know, a dollar book about Raymond L. Dittmars, a rattlesnake card, and cooking dinner for a random assortment of folks I found gathered around the kitchen table.

Even stranger is the spring courting display of the woodcock, also known as the timberdoodle and the Labrador twister--currently featured at Bells Bend Park and your local venue.

There were about twenty of us wandering the park's open spaces this evening under a rising full moon. The buzzy ground calls were all around us, follwed by a musical chitter made by the wingfeathers as the male woodcocks spiral upwards to 300 feet, then fall zigzagging back to earth. Actually seeing these elusive birds is a bit difficult in dusk and early evening, but it was a beautiful night, moonshadows trailing behind us,with the faroff howls of a pack of coyotes a mournful accompaniment.

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