I am not usually there, standing on the upstairs balcony next to the rock maples that loom over the southern side of the farmhouse keeping it cool during the hot days of summer. Recently, while doing laundry for the upstairs apartment, I stepped out to take a break and survey the gardens. I had planned to do so that morning when I went up and took my camera “just in case,” I always tell myself. Well, I was ecstatic being prepared for the unexpected sighting of a singing Veery.
Veeries had been active just outside my barn studio for a number of days filling the foggy canopy of air above the gardens with their other worldly trills. I had recorded their calls and songs but rarely caught but a fleeting sight of one.
Leaning out over the balcony railing on that brighter day in July, I was enjoying listening to a Veery singing close by, and then, turning my attention to the middle meadow garden, I saw the bard perched, with his back to me, atop an English Hawthorn tree. Though a good distance from where I stood, he seem to notice and promptly jumped around to face me.
I am certain he was not singing to please me but I was enchanted, and, yet again, thrilled to have been in the right place at the right moment. I made a note to take more balcony breaks when in the upstairs apartment.
The sounds coming out of this opening are surreal. I have written more at length about the Veery (Catharus fuscescens) here.
His songs being sung, and somewhat contented, I supposed, the russet and white songbird decided it was time to depart. I had a deep smile and sighed. These more often cautious creatures had been such a magical part of my audible world and now to have this bold display by one . . . it gave me the sensation of being touched by something within nature’s mysterious inner realm and it had become a part of my history. I felt blessed that moment as I walked back inside to check on the laundry.
The Veeries are quiet now. Of the thrushes, I mostly hear the Hermit Thrush at dawn and dusk and quiet murmurs from the bluebirds. Our blueberry crop, which has been abundant for decades, is very slight this year so not enough to keep all of the thrushes happy. I expect the Veeries have flown to more plentiful fields. Now, I wish for more than just a glimpse of a Hermit Thrush to add an image to the recorded sounds I have made.