It’s raining. I think about walking in the woods anyway.

I wouldn’t do it just to spot birds, although wet birds are there to be seen. It’s just that tramping around in the wild gets to be a daily routine, and you like to keep it going.

Reminds me of a book by Chris Offutt. He’s a hill guy from Appalachia who got educated and writes like a hill guy who’s educated. I’m thinking about his thoughtful memoir, “The Same River Twice.”

Offutt wrote it while spending time near a wooded river. Every day, rain or shine, he’d hike there, sit, and think about his past, his future, his pregnant wife. His family, his writing, the wild things around him, everything.

That daily wilderness fix can become a habit. Like booze. Rain won’t always keep you away. We’ve seen joggers in the rain, right? Jog junkies.

Going to a river in the woods is the same thing. And if you’re interested in birds, you’ll see them. Like ducks. Hell, it’s their kind of weather.

Even on a rainy day in December, you can find Wood Ducks, Blue-winged Teals and the common Mallards that’ll stay through winter. Canada Geese, too. They’ve become ordinary in the pavement world, but they’re respectable in the wild.

If you scan the branches with patience, you see birds waiting out the storm, sometimes shaking themselves like wet dogs. Once, I watched a soggy Blue Jay. He blinked as water hit his face and looked back at me, no questions asked.

It’s raining now. Maybe I should get out there. Might see something better than a wet jay. Not sure what that would be. I’ll think about that, if I go into the woods.

3 Responses to “Rain.”

  1. Teri G. says:

    Jog junkies? Good way to put it. I used to be one of ’em. Now I bird. Ever notice you can’t get a cardio workout and bird at the same time? You start walking fast on a trail, see a bird you don’t want to miss, and then you have to stop and look at it while your heart still races, and that can’t be good. My answer. Walk fast for a half hour straight, without stopping in the birding area, then slow down and walk slow and bird all you can for another half hour or longer. And if it’s raining, my answer to that is, have the sense to stay home and do it another day. but I don’t always listen to my answer.

  2. Frank B. says:

    well if you do see something better than a wet jay, and figure out what it is, be sure to say something about it.

  3. Rl says:

    Chris Offutt is awesome, I love all his books. However, the wet bluejay probably has him beat, assuming anyone has the good fortune to stumble across it.