Reading Outside

I often read outside, especially on calm, mild, sunny days.  Sometimes I take a nature magazine or a medical journal but it's usually the latest novel or collection of short stories recommended by my wife or a friend.  However, though my intentions are sincere, I generally end up behaving like an unfocused schoolboy, easily distracted by the natural surroundings.

Yesterday afternoon, I made it through two short chapters before a Townsend's solitaire began calling from the top of a juniper.  Then it was a spotted towhee scratching beneath the pinyon pines and the noisy flocks of Canada geese that circled overhead.  Setting my book aside, I got up to ramble through the farm,  taking notice of the early spring color provided by wild cherry shrubs, dandelions, grape hyacinths, periwinkle, clumps of blue scilla and the expanding greenery itself.  Cottontails darted across the pastures, robins hunted worms and insects on our patches of "lawn," the Mesozoic form a a great blue heron flapped overhead and northern flickers hammered away on dead limbs or belted out their hysterical calls.

Once again, the joy of outside reading proved to arise more from the location than the activity.  I'm sure I'll keep trying but late evening, indoor efforts will surely be far more productive (not that my time was wasted!).