Friday, August 14, 2009

Fading Light

About a month ago, Early and Lexi were chasing each other and Early made an error and flew right into one of the windows of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. It scared everyone and it was loud. He fell into the scallops below the window but was up and flying shortly and seem to recover just fine. Several evenings over the next few weeks, the watchers said you could see the 'smudge' from where he hit the window just as the sun set and the light hit that pane of glass. I wasn't there to see it but last night I spent one last evening to hang out and hope for a glimpse of the kids and adults on Temple Square. It was cloudy but with some breaks of sun. I waited for that magic hour to see if I could get a shot of the smudge as the sun set. Nope. Couldn't catch a thing - from outside.

So I decided to go up to that floor of the building and get some photos of the grounds to show you; give you a flavor of the gardens, fountains and buildings. I walked to the observation area and took a couple photos. I then tried to figure out where that pane of glass might be with Early's smudge. Forgive me please, I couldn't resist. I entered an area that was off limits to the public. Really just a conference room. And there it was. What was to be my last photo of this season and a fitting goodbye to Early and Lexi.

Early's Smudge

Come dance with the west wind,
And touch all the mountain tops,
Sail o'er the canyons, and up to the stars,
And reach for the heavens,
and hope for the future,
And all that we can be, not what we are.
— John Denver

Northeast view from JSMB (really I am just above and right of the nest box). Both Early and Lexi made their first flight out of the nest box down to the gardens just below.

Some Final Thoughts
Bob Walters (Utah Division of Wildlife Resources) and I sat together last night watching one last time in hopes of seeing Early and Lexi. Around 9:00 we saw an adult fly off the COB going south. It then returned and seem to 'put in' for the night on the west shoulder. Soon after, Bob spotted another adult on the north face of the building up next to one of the copper window frames. No kids sighted anywhere. As the sky darkened we chatted about this season of watching the young-of-the-year. I was a little sad actually. I've enjoyed the time sitting in the beautiful gardens feeling the warm breezes and watching the skies for flights. I told Bob I was feeling sad it was over.

Bob responded that he is just grateful this year turned out so well. Some years he's seen birds break a wing or a neck flying into a building. There have been years that eggs didn't hatch or the horrible disaster of 2008 when all the eyases died a few days after hatching. We should be very happy with this year's outcome - it is, afterall, the best we can hope for he said. "It's really not our show - it's theirs."

'See' you all next Spring.


Anonymous said...

Wow, what a wonderful last post Liz...
Thank you so much for a super 2009
reporting season!

Bird Cams Around The World (Forum)

Cat said...

Thank you, Liz, for your wonderful reports and photos this year! I'm glad you got that shot of Early's smudge upon the glass. Poignant, and beautiful as a 'shadow' against the distant mountains.