Diamonds in the Sky

On this pleasant, late afternoon in central Missouri, I went out on the back deck to see what avian visitors might stop by and I was treated to a noisy mix of resident and wintering birds.  Turkey vultures were most numerous, lazily circling overhead before settling in their roost a mile up the road.  Other common species included white-throated sparrows, dark-eyed juncos, black-capped chickadees and American robins; less abundant were northern cardinals, red-bellied and downy woodpeckers, tufted titmice, white-breasted nuthatches, song sparrows and a lone Cooper's hawk.

The highlight proved to be a large flock of snow geese, passing overhead and flying north.  Too high to hear, their white bodies reflected the setting sun and I was fortunate to spot them as I scanned the sky before going indoors.  Like a shimmering diamond necklace, its chain broken and wavering against a deep blue background, the snows, as always, were an inspiring sight.

Once again, the decision to go outside and look around was rewarded with a natural spectacle, one that many humans never witness in their lives.  Though they are common travelers over central Missouri in late February, the snow geese, blissfully unaware of my gaze and focused on their destination, touched my soul.