As I work my way through the myriad feelings that percolate through my head and accept the grief that associates with death, I find my daily routines all that much more comfortable, if difficult.
I drove up to Berlin Pond today, a day after a fresh snow, hoping for images to see, capture, and share through my camera. A leisurely walk down by the southern end of the pond initially bore little in terms of bird activity. As I walked further, though, I soon began to hear familiar sounds, first of a Hairy Woodpecker and then of several Black-capped Chickadees.
I've said before that I think Black-capped Chickadees and other "common" birds get kind of a bum rap just for the fact that they are, well, "common." But it is their ubiquity and seeming constant cheerfulness that make them among my very favorite birds. As I walked along the road I could hear them clearly deeper in the brush, but I was hoping for a closer look and opportunity to photograph one. I made a call that is familiar to birders that often brings birds in closer.
As I stood there waiting patiently, first one, then two, then well over a dozen Black-capped Chickadees heeded my call and lit before me in the brush. I'll admit to having felt a bit down as I walked along the road, but the appearance of all these tiny birds in response to my call brought a wide, wide grin to my face.
"Common" is not the first term that would come to mind when I think of Black-capped Chickadees. I prefer to think of them as reliable and cheerful. In these times of uncertainty, these little birds' reliable and cheerful presence was warm and welcome comfort for me.