Migration

Owl and three owlets

Owl and three owlets

A bald eagle sits in its nest, with the Rocky Mountains in the background. Through the spotting scope, we could see two chicks, and the mate was nearby.

A bald eagle sits in its nest, with the Rocky Mountains in the background. Through the spotting scope, we could see two chicks, and the mate was nearby.

I grew up in a place that was short on beauty and long on heat,

A downy woodpecker is making a nesting hole.

A downy woodpecker is making a nesting hole.

sand, and wind. Wildlife consisted primarily of rattlesnakes and “horny toads” (little horned lizards). The place was flat and waterless; its only redeeming qualities were gorgeous sunsets and oil. But it was my world, so the first time I visited Colorado, I was frightened at the sight of mountains; I thought they would fall and crush us to death. When I moved to Colorado as an adult, the mountains to the west constantly surprised me. I’d glance west while driving and be startled by their appearance. What were they doing there? It seemed so unnatural.

Now, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. I didn’t learn the names of trees, plants, or birds as a child – there were so few that there was little to learn. Sparrow, robin, and vulture covered the bird species. Mesquite bush covered the majority of plant life. I’m trying to learn a few more names now, although it will probably never be a big focus for me. I don’t need to know a bird or flower’s name to see its innate value to the planet.

Canada goose eggs.

Canada goose eggs.

But I am very interested in the world around me. I get something from the natural world that I can’t find inside my computer or office. There is a connection to the Divine and to the rest of me that is most accessible there. I’m well acquainted with my meditation chair, but nothing beats immersion in the natural world for connecting with the quantum mind.

A young moose, near Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

A young moose, near Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

I’m trying to learn the rhythm of the migration among the mammals and birds.

This year, I’ve learned that the eagles and owls nest first, followed a month later by herons, egrets, and more. Here’s a sampling of those birds returning to Colorado and mammals in the lower elevations who are returning to the higher mountain areas.

There have been some changes in my life, too. I’m moving

away from a few things that no longer work for me and I’m moving toward new things that seem just right. I’d gotten in a rut in a few places, and it’s time to get out. It’s like a minor migration of my thinking, my habits. I can’t say that I’m returning to a place I’ve been before, though. It’s a place in a very, very distant memory; one that isn’t even relevant to this time and space.

Mountain goats near Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Mountain goats near Red Feather Lakes, Colorado