Grateful

Not always sure where I’m coming from with one-handed typing, but the slowness with which I have had to express myself has given berth to more measured thoughts, perhaps, and, like bird-watching, there is something almost meditative in it.

Before I stray further, I want to dedicate this post to my dear friend Linda Rios and her husband Ed who got me through my awful post-injury and surgery situation with loving aplomb. It occurred to me after I struggled to finish the last post that I was bereft in my focus and needed to at least acknowledge how much my friends have meant to me during this blotch on my existence.

These photos are from August 29th, mostly taken at the Portage. After I was done there I checked out what the Army Corps of Engineers has done to the part of Ottawa Trail that runs along the Des Plaines River, expecting there wasn’t much to photograph there except for the habitat destruction.

Below, a very cooperative White-breasted Nuthatch.

The Chestnut-sided Warbler below was pretty well-hidden but now that I can’t take any photographs for a while I am glad I managed to get these when I did.

The bird below is a Nashville Warbler.

Red-winged Blackbird

The last of the Baltimore Orioles. I had one visit my feeder later that afternoon…

A juvenile American Robin

There were a few Indigo Buntings still around as late as September 19, which was the first bird walk I led after my surgery. Most of them looked like the two below.

On my way out of the Portage on August 29, I spotted this Cooper’s Hawk who just sat, and sat, and I took way too many pictures expecting that it would do something interesting. I was too exhausted by the time it finally took off.

A little Portage flora – I am always amazed at the height of the trees so maybe the cell phone conveys them somewhat. Then there are parts of the trail that are lined with blooming flowers now – a vast improvement over the burdock from years past.

Juvenile Northern Flicker

So this is what Ottawa Trail is looking like now that the levee has been finished on one side of the Des Plaines. It was relatively devoid of birds but I expected that. Others have told me, though, that the levee affords great looks at the Des Plaines River when there are water birds present, so I shall have to check that out another time.

I was able to capture a few signs of life.

On my way out of Ottawa Trail, over the parking area, a Red-Tailed Hawk flew overhead.

Elbow-wise, the cast is gone, stitches removed, and I have 12 weeks of physical therapy ahead. I actually had one physical therapy session on Friday and was reassured I had chosen the right location when I heard a crow calling as I went back to my car. As I mentioned, I managed to lead bird walks these past two Saturdays and I am so grateful to the participants who showed up and helped me feel alive again. I didn’t master the one-handed binocular skill, but now that I am cast-free, I am able to raise my left arm enough so maybe I can go looking for a few more birds this fall even if I cannot commemorate the sightings in photos. In these uncertain times it’s all the more grounding to continue one’s connection with the natural world.

16 thoughts on “Grateful

      • I have thought about that – your Lumix? I had one once. I may see if I can trot out my Sony RX 10 – it’s not lightweight so much as smaller and self-contained – but right now I’m dealing as much with being able to maneuver my left hand and fingers as I am my ability to lift something. πŸ™‚

  1. Oh my Lisa. You did this entire post one-handedly? That’s an absolutely Herculean feat! Wishing you continued progress in your healing recovery and physical therapy. Awesome post and photos. Best, Babsje

  2. I see that you are up and busy again! I’m glad that you’re feeling better. You’re a superwoman! Take care Lisa. πŸ™‚

    • Oh, H.J. – I wish I felt like a superwoman. The contrast is between “wow I feel better” and “I feel twenty years older.” For what it’s worth they’re playing Tannhauser on the radio, maybe that will inspire me. πŸ™‚

  3. Oh Lisa!πŸ¦‹. I was touched that you expressed such gratitude to Ed and me in your beautiful blog. It’s always nice to see myself in print. The pleasure and honor were ours. I agree that you are a Superwoman. You’ve taken this bump in your road with courage and humor and an amazingly good attitude. You set an exemplary path for all of us accident prone types. I especially love the Coopers Hawk standing up so straight, the winding flower lined paths and how you captured the height of the trees. Carry on!

    • Thanks so much, Linda. You guys saved my life! And as for the mishap, I guess I won’t take being in good shape for granted once I get back there. I managed my first walk this morning since the accident. There were a couple warblers on your block. It was beautiful in the cool, crisp sunshine πŸ™‚

  4. After first reading this post and realizing you had an injury, I jumped back to catch up. So sorry to hear of your fall, Lisa, prayers for a speedy recovery! Great to catch up on your photos, I envy all the warblers you capture. Glad you’re able to get out now, castless, giving you more freedom. Best of luck with the PT!

    • Thanks so much, Donna! Coincidentally I just got a call from PT – I was on a wait list for this week but scheduled for all of October – so I can go for my second session tonight. I am just feeling lucky I am still working and have birds to take care of – things that make me get up and move, which is key to recovery. I like PT for monitoring my progress. And my healthy young therapist! πŸ™‚

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