Long ago, it seems like in a different life now, I didn’t pay a lot of attention to nature. Though I got to enjoy nature, I didn’t understand anything about respecting it and why. That’s a whole other story, and I won’t get into it now as I’m just learning, but it has morphed into a love of wildlife and birds.
Since my amazing wife Lee Hiller-London (Lee Hiller) who is founder of Hike Our Planet and Lee Hiller Designs started taking me on her hikes, I’ve found an amazing new relationships with wild birds. Many of these are birds that fly to South and Central America. Some come back to our forest, stay for awhile and move on. Most of them are very affectionate and talk to us from low branches.
They show off their snacks (usually caterpillars or insects) etc. and sing long songs for us. Many of them follow us along our hikes singing all the way.
Mockingbirds and I have a special relationship and I’ve been known to sing with them for 30 minutes at a time within feet of each other.
A lot of the tropical birds know Lee well and pose for her camera. The robins often “escort” us to and from the forest. It’s really magic and quite healing.
Someone who wants to enjoy nature need not live in the mountains or next to a National Park (though it doesn’t hurt). They can live near a park in their town and just sit on the park bench and look around or at a table, or just take a hike around. Some live in a wooded isolated area or next to a large tract of undeveloped land. Nature is everywhere, and if you watch it with patience, you’ll see a type of drama, comedy and every other “movie genre” that actually is not available in the media; no, not even Animal Planet or Wild Kingdom.
Before long one realizes, as Emerson and Thoreau taught us, we are a part of this wonderful thing called nature. It changes just like we do. Watching it change makes our own human changes much easier and we look forward to it. Though there was plenty to love about NYC, Washington DC and L.A. this is a whole new ballgame; and a healthy one. Lee and I have the “been there got the tees” on the others, and this will do just fine, thank you.
You’ll may find that the birds are not as foreign to us as we’ve been brought up to believe. In fact we learned today that sparrows have the same DNA as humans. No wonder they like us. At least seems that way.
You can see my funny bird gifts at RickLondonGifts.com. I am the founder of Londons Times Offbeat cartoons and funny gifts which have been Google #1 ranked since 2005. I am blessed to have married nature photographer and gift designer Lee Hiller-London who has taught me a great deal about nature (and life).