Having returned to Missouri, I decided to take our VW Beetle out for a spin. After all, it's the closest that I'll ever get to a sports car and a country drive is one of my favorite activities. I thus set out for the farmlands east and south of Columbia.
Though the clean edges and brown landscape of winter still dominated the scenery, the recent moisture and warm temperatures had produced a faint greenery on the lawns and pastures. Enjoying the cool, sunny day, American kestrels and eastern bluebirds lounged on the power lines while a fair number of red-shouldered hawks struck their chin-down pose, perched and perhaps snoozing in the barren trees. On the other hand, red-tailed hawks, in the midst of their breeding season, had paired off and engaged in their noisy mating flights. Blue jays and northern mockingbirds drifted across the country roads while flocks of horned larks and dark-eyed juncos burst from the roadside as my sporty car approached. While I encountered numerous flocks of snow geese on my way back from Colorado, none were observed in the clear blue sky this afternoon.
Gone for almost two hours, I had recharged both the Beetle's battery and my country-loving soul. In either case, it is a duty that I need to address on a regular basis.