Notes from the Birdhouse – Once Upon an Enchanted Time

It was early afternoon and the birds were out with their delicate songs of beauty.  The air had a crispy nip and the sweet fragrance of pine danced upon the gentle breeze.  As I strolled along, I saw a forlorn and long forgotten road into what looked like an enchanted forest.  It was overgrown with foliage and had fallen trees blocking its path.  It appeared to me the trees had somehow downed themselves to deter humanity from entering.  Why would these tall timbers and little saplings want to keep this wonderland hidden?  Maybe because of the secret it was protecting. You see a long time ago a human with the ability to fly without feathers or wings hid a highly desired trove of riches. I not only wanted to experience the exquisiteness of this woodland area I was also after the elusive hidden treasure it cloaked.  It was hidden for only a select few to find… and I was hoping I would be one of them.

Beauty abounds in this little lost world.  I took my time gazing with dancing eyes into the Ponderosa pines and lingered among the colorful wildflowers.  The birds were fluttering around me in excitement and song.  I slowed to their melody of happiness. What a marvelous Shangri-La I had stumbled into.

I continued on my walk until I was halted by a fallen tree branch.  Ms. Offshoot had reached up and clutched my pants leg.  I am sure she only wanted to introduce herself to me.  However, the sun was disappearing. I had no time to stop and chat I had to find the hidden cache.   She must have been very lonely because in that brief moment she decided to introduce me to her closest and dearest friend Mr. Ground.  We had an engaging but brief chat then I was on my way again.

I found the treasure nestled at the bottom of a magnificent tree.  It was hidden within the exposed roots of a fallen tree.  Truly a splendid haven for such a monumental treasure filled with trinkets of silver, copper, pseudo gold, and synthetic dreams.  I took only a single object and bestow upon the vault a single gift in return.  I then thanked the tree for allowing me to spy its concealment. I returned the box and bid ado to this spellbinding Nirvana.

And as the story goes She lived happily ever after.

Now what really happened……………..

It was a beautiful morning.  Crisp air and a very steep uphill road was ahead of me.  There were so many birds squawking and talking it was almost deafening. The purpose of this day was to find the geocache and not come back without the find.  But still, I wish I would have had my NM bird book to identify some of the different songs and sounds. Sorry I sometimes stray off subject.  When I walked up to the entrance I saw a multitude of trees that had been felled.  They lay across the now non-existent road to prevent people from driving into the forest.    As stated before, I was absolutely determined to find this cache.  Earlier in the day I had walked over 6 miles for two caches and came up empty on both hunts.  The uphill climb was daunting but that would not deter me.  I had to find this one if for no other reason than to stroke my bruised ego.

In the storybook version, you might have imagined me in a long flowing dress… in reality; I was decked out in my camos, Indianan Jones hat, hiking boots and a walking stick.  In storybook land, I was practically floating on air in awe…in reality; I was laboring over forest debris and deliberately forcing my steps to get up and over the downed trees.  Remember Ms Offshoot gently clutching my pants leg?  She was actually entangled in the tie on my boot.  I was not going to let a little tiny branch slow me down so I gave a swift jerk while in full stride. Now this is where everything started going wrong!  My leg flung itself from the tangles of the branch only to find the end of my walking stick which was supporting almost all of my weight. The next thing I see was my stick flying through the air to gosh only knows where.  In that split second my brain starts to engage but it is seeing things in sssllloowww-mo.  In my head, I was screaming “YOU ARE FALLLINGG” and I was.  I was screaming “BRACE YOURSELF PUT YOUR HANDS UP STUPI…”  The thought never got a chance to finish.  Before the last syllable could be mentally formed, my face planted itself into her old buddy Mr. Ground.   I laid there face first and stunned. And when I said in the ground I meant it.

My front teeth were wedged in the dirt like a backhoe to a ditch.  After I freed my teeth, I laid there for a few moments collecting my thoughts then let out a meek and pathetic …”timber”.  I slowly rolled over to sit up then looked around for any observers.  Only the hundred or so birds were watching.  I must have been pretty entertaining because they were shocked into silence! Yep, not a peep.  I then noticed my boot and to my surprise it was still caught on Ms. Offshoot!  Don’t ask me how she could have hung on through all that! I then checked to make sure all my teeth were there.  To my delight, they were but they were sore, pushed back a little, and bleeding. I think I spit dirt for at least 10 minutes.  I checked my knees.  I knew there was a problem because my camo was sporting a brand new color.  RED.  Yep it was a doosy of a fall.

I then made a quick scan of my GPS to see how far away the prize was but the GPS had no signal.  I was not going home without this smiley! (that’s what they call a find)  I headed back up the hill and in short order found the grand treasure chest.  It was full of cool stuff.  I took a little something for the kid and dropped a travel bug. (that’s an item that travels the world from cache to cache with the help of geocachers like me)  Then I packed out of there and headed home to my own castle to nurse my wounds.  Next morning I COULD NOT MOVE.

As the ending goes. ”I lived happily ever after”

WHAT AN AWESOME DAY

Now don’t be like me and find yourself in paradise without a bird book.  Get on in here and check out all the neat publications on our shelves.  My favorite, by far, is the Birds of New Mexico Field Guide.  It is color coded to make finding a bird fast and easy while in the field. Just see the bird’s main color, flip to that color tap and whaa laaa you have find it.  This book is only for NM birds so you may not see the book you are looking for.  Your bird may be on its migration path headed to warm climates. But don’t worry we have books for that too.

Hope to see you soon,

Ruthie


If you enjoy watching and feeding wild birds, our store is for you! We carry unique hummingbird feeders, seed feeders, bird houses, books, birdbaths, custom wild bird seed, Tilley hats and much more.

306 Burro Ave. – Cloudcroft, NM 88317
Phone: 575-682-6902 Email: thebirdhousecloudcroft@yahoo.com