Our Hancock County naturalist and philosopher quietly watches a Hooded Warbler attend to its daily routine, captivated with its beauty of purpose.
- by James Inabinet, PhD
Rhythmic feathered flapping, quickening blur.
Tilting this way, now that through gnarled wovenness.
Unplanned pathways, ad hoc wending, tunneled maize-ways.
Choosing un-chosen pathways.
Paths open when moving; others close.
Split second avoidance, shifts up, tilts aside,
Wildly winging circling.
Continuous shifting, smearing panoramas.
See an opening; quickly through.
Passing between vee-ed limbs.
Ducks beneath straddling pine straw.
Quickly under dangling limb onto the ground.
Head shifts side to side and down to grasp tiny myrtle stick.
Hurriedly lifting off again.
Bursting over and under, onto leafy limb.
Masked head jerking, left and right and down and right.
Lifting off again, gliding through shifting space.
Lifting up and over and out. Free, into the open sky. Too free?
Descending again onto hunchbacked bush.
Nascent nest fills three-way crook.
Carefully, hurriedly, weaving, jumping, bursting, gone.
There, sitting upright. Gazing fixedly at a bowl and doily web.
Looking right and left and down. Jerkily preening.
Lifting head slightly and, in the stillness, a pregnant pause,
Staccato declaration in warbler tongue,
To fellow birds,
To bushes and trees and bugs,
And carpet of leaves and straw,
That I am warbler, that I am here.