I know it is spring when my email box is stuffed with lists of the birds that other people have seen. This is the first time in several years that birders across this part of Kansas have raved during the month of May about the number of migrating birds they are seeing…especially the small, colorful, flitting about warblers. I never see as many as the “experts” see, but knowing they are out there when I hike down a wooded path keeps me hiking. The top of my list of “favorites” is the common yellowthroat. Having now seen him four times this season is almost enough to make me happy. I don’t carry the camera and “big” lens on hikes anymore…so I’ll ask son, Ben for a late Mother’s Day present. He can hunt down a common yellowthroat and capture it in his camera. I want to add this to the “bird” wall in my apartment.
After hiking 3.15 miles at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens this morning I was shocked when I returned to the parking lot. Cars were everywhere. I had seen very few people. I hike in the less civilized part of the park…the muddy, wooded areas.This almost makes it a private arboretum for searching for birds, talking to the ones I find and enjoying the chorus around me even when they stay out of sight.
Toward the end of the hike…my mother joined me in spirit when I came across three of her favorite plants.First, the wild verbena which used to grow in the pasture where they lived east of Arkansas City. Next, columbine which always grew in the yard by our driveway when we lived in town on north B Street.
Last, a couple of clumps of forget-me-nots. Many years ago (1977) we stopped in Vermont on our return from England. She was sure she remembered where forget-me-nots were growing in the hills near Berlin, VT when she was a young woman. We trudged up and down dale looking for these blue flowers, but found nothing. I think of that trek ever more when I see forget-me-nots. I forget-not my mother when enjoying her favorite flowers.