Six miles! Possibly my longest run ever! And all because I passed my mom in her car on the way up the hill. She told me that a bald eagle lay ahead, at the next corner in the road beside the old gatehouse. Of course, the bird had long since moved on when I appeared, a red-faced apparition, but I spent a long time peering into the skeleton trees anyway. Gunshots were reverberating in the distance. I did see a woodpecker, but when I tried to get my mom to identify it she grew exasperated with my failure to register the important details.
“What color was it?”
“Red. And black and white.”
“Black like a ladder? With a red head?”
“It was very determined to build a nest! I really thought about what it must be like to be a bird!”
“…….It was probably a downy woodpecker.”
Actually, it turned out that yesterday was the day of missed avian sightings. At dusk, my mother and I suited up to go find the mysterious short-eared owls that had recently appeared at a pavilion near a town a few miles away. Although the scenery was striking (the fields were aflame and all the silos were silhouetted charmingly along the ridges), we failed to find anything, birds of prey or otherwise, despite attempting many owl calls into the rapidly darkening night.