In a blink of an eye, that’s how summer has gone by so far. For me especially on a 9 by 1 mile stretch that is Fishers Island, where the human element swells and surges and by Labor Day, you just want to sit in the froth of that mountainous wave and ask “Wow, did I just ride that?”
The Island’s so small that you can truly believe in asking it for a Do-over and have one too. Like the other evening I spied a Ruby-throated Hummingbird hovering in and out of Hosta beds searching for something sweet.
“Wait just a second while I get my camera” I whispered.
But that was actually on my back porch – 2 minutes down the lane and 2 minutes back. Of course upon returning, the sweet bird had already buzzed by for the night. I have also asked myself for Do-overs. To be more patient with seasonal bicyclists that aren’t paying attention – after all I have pedaled in those shoes. And rather than imagining there is an “only catered to” atmosphere sweeping me under again; this August morning I smiled at a simple but rarely seen box of Familia Swiss Muesli on a store shelf and was grateful for all the other “delicacies” the market carries these days. Another feature of this small stage set of an Island is that certain qualities – nice ones – will resonate bigger and brighter if you’re observing closely.
As naturalist here I often find expressions of “family”; both with wildlife and the human in unique places out in the field and they find me!
Yesterday, a longtime friend Carl (he and my brothers grew up fishing for King Mackerel from the Ferry dock back in the day) took the time to stop by my neck of the woods on Silver Eel Cove.
“I found the most unbelievable Hummingbird nest!” He then started to give me directions up Island by the Driving Range before I blurted enthusiastically.
“Wait! I’ll get my camera”.
“Grab a ladder if you have one”.
I dashed inside for the camera and threw an old rusty hinged wooden ladder in back of the beach car.
Carl sat in his truck waiting for me patiently; I then followed close behind 20 minutes up east.
I remember thinking this is my wonderful get to Do-over in real time on a real tiny Island.
The afternoon’s west wind had picked up but the sun’s foggy swelter stayed its course while branches swayed and bobbed up and down.
It was nearly impossible to figure how this minuscule lichen covered nest designed with such precision was discovered. Then I remembered how tall Carl is. I started laughing when he offered to catch and bend the tree’s limb for a perfect shot.
“No, this is like National Geographic” I jested. “We can’t just interfere with nature’s rhythm and timing”.
Propping the old ladder, he agreed.
I climbed to the wobbly top step. “This is right up there with the Snowy owl’s great spirit – that moment! I whispered excitedly.
And it is.