Birds “on the rocks”
A few weekends ago, my friends Dave (who was, by the way, the photographer of the wild Cut-throat Finch I posted before) and Misha (who watches girls rather than birds) invited me to go climbing with them in San Bernardino National Forest. Dave had asked me, “Have you climbed before?” to which I replied “I’ve climbed trees.”
A woodpecker’s tree which I did not climb at San Bernardino National Forest, 3 October 2009
After some instructions on strapping and buckling and knotting and forcing my feet into strange, toe-curling kletterschuhe, I climbed.
Dave took these. I’d say that this is a pretty good look for me, especially in the photo on the left.
Upon descending, I found a warm rock, the surface of which was conveniently complimentary to the curvature of my spine, on which to lie. I watched the other climbers and gazed at the sky, and I could have fallen asleep if it were not for a suspicion that piercing through the wind bursts, I was hearing birdsong. Finally, I turned around and cocked my neck, and my suspicions were confirmed by a slight, flapping silhouette emitting the “scolding chick-a-dee call.”
I had first spotted a Mountain Chickadee when I was at Joshua Tree National Park. Nevertheless, having already seen one did not stop me this time from running off with someone’s down jacket, scaling rocks, and crouching in shrubs in order to harass this feathered one who had practically invited me to follow him.
By the time I returned to the climbing rock, the sky had been transformed. We decided to leave promptly, but not before Dave had a chance to shed some blood on the rock.
The wind-driven San Bernardino forest fire was apparent and somewhat alarming, considering the high speed winds, 3 October 2009.
On the way out, from the roadside, I spotted Western Bluebirds (Sialia Mexicana)! I begged Misha to stop the car. If we were to be seared or smoked, I wanted at least to see the Bluebirds!
The risky delay was worth it, especially since it was not really so risky. We learned later that the fire was on the other side of the I-15, anyway.