May 16 2012. I felt the turning point today, the turn when the fury of spring hands over to the warm deliberate days of summer; days that are for producing the next generation.
As I walked along a paved lakeshore path I heard Warbling Vireos staking their claim to the treetops with their ramble of flat toned notes that dwindle to an inconclusive end. An untidy “Ts wr-ilwr-lr-lwir-lee-le-lsit” is as close as I can get to it. I found the first Rugosa Rose flowers unfolding in the brushy tangles and Chimney Swifts twittering overhead as they flew fast wheeling acrobatics.
Later I watched Common Terns fishing at the canal and enjoyed studying how they differ from last week’s Forster’s Terns, the frosty upper wing tips of the Forster’s are perhaps the most obvious difference. Less obvious in flight is the Forster’s much longer tail and more orange bill. Then a Caspian Tern hovered overhead so I noted that apart from it being a relative giant, the Caspian has dark wingtips as if it’s wearing mittens.
I think it was the Chimney Swifts that caught my imagination more than the terns. I like their absolute association with pure summer skies; how they wheel in high sweeping arcs, screaming and twittering. They are a sound of lazy summer evenings.