Today is one of those days that old baseball players used to call a "dog day" of summer. There was a little breeze all day but it was very hot and humid, definitely a good time to visit the ole swimmin' hole in the Kickapoo river, so I did. The cool, clear water was the refreshing answer for that clammy, sticky feeling and I felt better for two hours afterwards.
By mid-afternoon it was plus 90° and shade was the only relief, or so I thought. I was surprised to see two male robins out in the grassy yard, standing with their wings and tails spread out to catch the sun. They were sun-bathing and seemed to be enjoying it. It was a far cry from the river bath I just took but just as necessary. Over the years, I've seen many different birds spread out on the ground in this manner as they catch the healthy rays of the sun. It's not uncommon to see several Turkey vultures, spread out in the branches of a big dead tree, with their huge wings spread out at their sides. Every once in awhile though, the vultures will spread out together on the ground, against a hill and facing the warm sun.
How strange they look, all standing there on the ground with their wings spread and their breast feathers ruffled to catch the warm rays.
On several occasions I have seen Red-tailed hawks who are spread-eagle on the ground with their tail feathers fanned out in the sun. Getting grounded to the earth in this way just comes naturally to them.
The little house wrens, raised in the birdhouse gourd hanging on the back porch, have fledged and the adults are already carrying sticks to another gourd nearby. There is plenty of time to raise another family before fall.
The hummingbirds are busy feeding on the blooming bee balm in the flower gardens. The bright red flowers are one of their favorites and the hum of little wings is one of my favorite summer sounds.
The small pool of still water in the creek is where the water striders spend their time. The adult striders are now joined by many half-grown young as they all dance across the surface of the still water pool.
There is so much we can enjoy and learn from these beautiful, warm summer months. A walk down Nature's Trail can give us a chance to witness life as it was meant to be. A chance to feel the rhythm that life in the natural world dances to. A simple morning walk may give you a different attitude for the rest of the day. A walk at sunset can let you relax and help put your day in perspective. The fresh air you breath, the scent of honeysuckle, the song of a wood thrush and a dragonfly on your shoulder are just some of the things that pleasant dreams are made of.
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