Sunday, May 1, 2016

I'm usually the one on dog duty in the morning.  My walking route takes me around a nearby elementary school.  And at least once a year, I've spotted one or two killdeer (I usually hear them before I see them) strolling through the schoolyard on a spring morning.  I used to think that they somehow had gotten lost - they *are* shorebirds, after all - but according to

"Look for Killdeer on open ground with low vegetation (or no vegetation at all), including lawns, golf courses, driveways, parking lots, and gravel-covered roofs, as well as pastures, fields, sandbars and mudflats. This species is one of the least water-associated of all shorebirds."

When I was elementary school age, I had learned from a nature documentary that the killdeer would famously hobble around with what seemed to be a broken wing as a way to distract predators from a clutch of eggs at the nest site.  The killdeer then become a minor character in a story I wrote for Language Arts, a story that became a source of pride when my grade 7 teacher said some encouraging words regarding the maturity of the piece in front of the entire class.  That was probably why I still write about birds today.  Maybe there's a child at this school who has also seen this bird and has written it into a story of his or her own.


PSYL said...

Did you hang on to your grade 7 story?

It's interesting about folks like us that still write about birds (and other nature-related subjects). I wonder if we just mature at a really young age and if our maturity remained the same after that.

Tim said...

I don't have it...the teacher actually hung on to it (and apparently still does, last time we chatted).

I wouldn't call it maturity...more like interest. For some people, observational science is limited to kids (think about how Science World markets themselves). For me (and probably others), nature offers beauty (art), predictability (science), and a refreshing nonjudgmentalness in a combination that is rarely seen in other aspects of human existance. I can see how it's not everybody's cup of is subjective, predictability can be seen as boring, and some people thrive on conflict.

Thanks for the comment, PSYL.

Bella Sinclair said...

I would have loved to read your 7th grade story, too. :) Very interesting, this bird. I wonder how it got its name. I'm glad your teacher encouraged your love of birds and nature. i enjoy seeing and reading about them on your blog. Have a lovely weekend!