I woke up Violet early on Saturday - – because we had to be on the road by . I’m the field trip coordinator for the Buffalo Audubon Society, which means I line up people to lead hikes around Western New York, and Saturday was the annual May bird hike at Amherst State Park. I wasn’t sure if I should bring Violet because, apart from the fact that she’s not quite ready to differentiate a yellow warbler from a pine warbler, birders tend to be a quirky bunch, and some of them don’t appreciate a birder who makes loud noises and scares away the birds, no matter how cute that birder might be. But I wanted to give Linda a morning to herself, I wanted to get Violet outside, and, to be truthful, I wanted to show her off. She did fine for about an hour, strapped to my chest and quietly watching everyone, putting up with me constantly putting my binoculars straps in her face while I tried to pinpoint this or that bird. I pointed out two different woodpeckers to her and the call of a swamp sparrow and a blue jay, and she seemed to look at a chickadee that landed in a branch just a few feet away from her. Her biggest reactions, however, were reserved for all the people who came up, telling her how good she was, and we even had one woman tell me that she’d been nervous when she saw me walk up with a baby. Of course, it was not soon after that Violet started to fuss. A light drizzle had started, so we went back to the car and I gave her a bottle. I expected to head home when she was finished, but the sun came out and I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try and catch up with the group for the last stretch of the hike. Violet didn’t seem to mind and within in a few minutes, we found the group along a stream, all binoculars pointed at an immature red tailed hawk, perched in a tree and being mobbed by two orioles. I started to tell Violet about it, but then I realized she had fallen asleep. I’m taking it a sign of contentment rather than disinterest.
170 days old