At the start of a seven-mile walk on the Dark Trail in Settlement Canyon, a flash of bright color and a chirp caught my attention. In the branches not three six from me perched a gorgeous Western Tanager, red head, yellow breast. It inclined its eye to me, and twittered a greeting, then leapt away. How cheerful the encounter left me; how uplifted and inspired. (I took this photo of a Western Tanager in 2007.)
WALK IN THE WOODS
Tanager of the West
yellow breast beaming
scarlet head brilliant under blue sky and sun
how kind of you to incline
to chirp to me
Every Tanager and Towhee and Flicker,
every Fritillary and Mourning Cloak and Blue,
every walk in the woods:
instructs and enlightens,
uplifts and improves.
Roger is the author of Rabbit Lane: Memoir of a Country Road. The book tells the true life story of an obscure farm road and its power to transform the human spirit. The book is available in print and for Kindle at Amazon. See Rabbit Lane reviewed in Words and Pictures.