That Familiar Stream-side Tune

I thought I heard a song I’ve just been dying to hear lately.

It was getting a little chilly outside as the sun sets on the tree line but that’s alright, I threw on another top layer and a hat before I left the house. Out on a walk with my dog, I was distracted by a cluster of aspen trees at the edge of a field.

Seeing their ragged, yet smooth, gray bark made me remember this article I had read a while back about how aspen trees in a stand all share the same root network, which is considered the main life force. The root network can lie dormant for years until conditions are right to sprout new growth. I wondered the age of this particular stand’s roots.

Then, I heard it.

Or maybe I didn’t? Early spring is difficult. I’m so eager to hear the sweet songs I love and the eagerness sometimes gets my ear in trouble. I’ll think I hear something then get all worked up just to find out its a cardinal playing tricks. I’m also a little rusty in early spring.

Knowing how to identify birds by their songs is something that comes with time. To recognize the trills, drops, ascending and descending notes – each with their own tune – you have to memorize key indicators. There are many songs in the woods. When you train your ears to pickup on individual songs, a walk in the woods becomes different. Instead of chatter surrounding you, there will be familiar friends.

If I just heard the bird I think I heard, I will be thrilled. I wait with as much patience as I can muster to hear this song. It’s one of my favorite birds!

So, I pushed my toboggan up over my ear and walked toward the creek. I waited….and waited…then, after I’d given up and started walking back home, I heard it once more.

I heard that familiar tune. One you may be blessed to hear down by the creek in the summertime. One that flutters down the stream corridor as the bird fishes for tiny insects inhabiting the pebble-lain bottom.

A Louisiana waterthrush has landed in Indian Creek, which I can hear rushing at high water just behind my house. Hello, friend! I’m happy to hear your song. I don’t know if this is your stomping ground or if you’re just resting before you finish your journey.

Regardless, welcome.