Basketball and birds.

Today was warm for winter. I noticed my basketball near the garage, where there’s a hoop.

Grabbed a sweatshirt, and shot some baskets. But I missed a few, due to birds.

When you aim at the basket, you look up. Sometimes a bird’s up there in the distance, and you notice it.

This breaks your concentration. You miss.

Today, while shooting a routine fifteen-footer, I saw a Turkey Vulture circling. Big, ominous, with splayed wingtips.

They’re not seen much around here this time of year, but there he was.

He was looking at me, thinking: Hmm, driveway basketball players aren’t seen much this time of year, but there he is. Maybe he’ll become dinner.

Later, when I was going in for a Derrick Rose-style spinning layup, I got a glimpse of small birds in the top branches of a tree over the garage, and missed.

No big deal. I’ve made a million layups. The birds were Cedar Waxwings, and I haven’t seen a million of them. At least not on the tree over my garage.

In the past, I’ve missed baskets because of squawking Sandhill Cranes overhead. And last summer, a Cooper’s Hawk threw my shot off.

That’s okay. I’m glad to be outside, shooting around, jumping toward the hoop, defying gravity (think Derrick Rose, again).

And watching other gravity defying things. Like birds. They get racked up on a mental list I keep each season.

And they give me an excuse when I miss.

4 Responses to “Basketball and birds.”

  1. patrickquillin says:

    Colorado Springs is a great assembly point for vultures in late September. They slide in from all corners to concentrate into a large vortex coincidentally above the sewage treatment plant. They ride thermals in great swirls adding to their numbers an late morning. As they crest the thermals the leaders break south creating a convoy straight down Fountain creek a mile high. I’ve seen the sand hill cranes maneuver this way over the high Rockies to penetrate their barriers.
    In spring, the buzzards return between April 6th and the 18th. Not really Hinckley, Ohio style- but always a welcome harbinger.

  2. JoAnne L. says:

    Thanks for sharing the fun moment of being outside making baskets and still seeing birds. Sometimes we don’t need to go out looking for birds to feel that they’re all around us. And it’s great that you do that, no matter what else you are doing. Keep up the great site. J.

  3. Jack says:

    Some “help” for Jonah. Definitely sounds like a parrot. You said squawking, right? That’s the key. Did it squawk like this: “get in here and do your homework!” If it did, we identified it. You said you had a paper due, right? Yeah, the common house parrot. Good luck kid.

    Jack from Ft. Collins

  4. jonah says:

    that was a very good post… I’m doing an article in school and maybe I could get some ”help” I was playing basketball in my back yard yesterday and i missed a couple shots for the same reason, some weird bird was squawking and it threw me off.