The Wind Changed

I first learned about changes in the wind when I was a young girl growing up on 125 acres of ‘wilderness’ with older brothers who spent much time hunting during deer season.  Deer hunting back then (ohmygod, I’m starting to sound so OLD!) was a ritual in our  house.  Uncles and cousins from the city arrived the day before opening day with enough guns and ammo to wage their own war.  I would wake in what seemed like the middle of the night to the scent of bacon frying and men’s voices coming from the kitchen below.  I hated hunting season and all of my relatives every fall and winter for years and years. 

Once the men departed in search of their prey, the women would go shopping ‘down below,’ which meant making the long drive to the city.  Driving the five miles from our house to the main road, we always, always, saw deer, usually in the opposite direction from where the ‘boys’ had gone off to find them.  At supper, deer hunting stories would be exchanged, along with excuses why everyone had missed their target this time.  The most common excuse was that “the wind changed,” carrying the man-scent to the deer and alerting them of their impending doom.  Over the years, the wind changed  became a standard explanation for various changes in plans or outcomes in our family that we still use today.

But yesterday, the wind did change!  No, really.  The strong north winds that had stalled migration earlier in the week calmed, shifted, and now came from the south.  Birds began moving overnight, resulting in happy-dances in the birder’s world.

Cutie of the day is of course the chestnut-sided warbler pictured above.  A stunning little bird!  Another pleasant surprise was this male mourning warbler – a new species for RRBO.  I’m sure they’ve been around before, but this was the first we’ve seen or banded.

As it was during those hunting seasons, a change in the wind was a good thing for me.  Life continues to be good.

5 Responses to “The Wind Changed”

  1. KGMom Says:

    Oh good–the birds are flying, you are banding (and photographing and writing). Hurray.
    I love the calm look on the faces of these birds–they seem so tolerant of human activity. Maybe the fact that you are taking still photos helps–maybe they flutter all about before and after!
    But I do love their faces–and your excellent photography.
    I didn’t grow up with deer hunters–as you describe–but I think I would have hated it too. My husband recalls going hunting once as a boy, and despising it. He is a big softee where animals are concerned.

  2. Lynne at Hasty Brook Says:

    That mourning warbler is beautiful. It reminds me of ladies wearing those big old-fashioned lace collars.

  3. Ruth Says:

    Loved the story! I went moose hunting once and thankfully we didn’t find any at all. I could never kill an animal. Beautiful pictures. Maybe I will find some new warblers this weekend with the change of wind.

  4. scienceguy288 Says:

    The colors on that morning warbler remind me of just that. A beautiful spring morning. Nice photo.

  5. obi4240 Says:

    KGMom, thanks, and yeah, I think now my brothers have gone soft too. Two of them still fish, but I don’t think they hunt as much – or at least, they never seem to actually shoot anything!

    Lynne – he is pretty, isn’t he? Some think he’s sort of drab by comparison to other warblers, but I think he’s rather stunning.

    Ruth – the wind keeps changing, so keep looking!

    Scienceguy288 – thanks! I agree.


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