Kindling Neighborly Connections between People and Nature.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Kinglet of the gorge (1/25/2020)

Golden-crowned kinglet on the hemlock branch, perched here with me at the edge of the west rim of the Pine Creek Gorge; watching you move about ever so freely up and down the canyon walls and happily along the rim; I covet your diminutive size and your capable wings.

I invest lots of effort to make my way to those hard-to-reach places in this steep rocky landscape. One summer's day I managed a trek by foot (more of a scramble really) from Owassee Road near the island, straight on up to West Rim Trail near Barbour Rock. Just yesterday I was overjoyed to have made a successful beeline ascent from Pinafore Run at the Pine Creek Rail Trail on up to Snyder Point Vista. I put in lots of time and effort, but there are SOOO MANY sidewall spots that are out of the question.

But you. Yes you with your little olive body and your capable wings! There is no secret ravine, no exposed rocky face, no utmost spray of hemlock or pine that is out of your reach! To me, you are royalty, the bird with little olive body and capable wings who surveys the steep forest kingdom of the Pine Creek Gorge.

So my little neighbor, if we spoke the same language we'd have much to discuss. I'd like to hear the stories of many a great adventure you've had up and down these canyon walls. I'd lean in as you tell me of secret domains under rocky cleft where creeping junipers cascade over sandstone and lichens galore thrive where the rocky face juts inward. You'd have my attention if you were to share tales of shaded ravine where the side-hill springs are just a trickle and mosses abound in nooks and crannies everywhere. I'd listen intently while you rattle off the long list of wild neighbors you've happened upon; some of them friends, a few to beware of, but mostly just fellow canyon dwellers who do their thing while you do yours. You'd share the spots and perhaps a memory or two, of where the bear dens up, where the fox raises her young, and where the bobcat walks each day.

Golden-crowned kinglet on the hemlock branch, I covet your diminutive size and your capable wings. I hope to see you again the next time I visit. Peace to you, and to this place.

My sketch from today. Looking towards east rim from west rim near Barbour Rock.

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