Perching along the levee

In May, the sounds of a variety of birds hidden in the tall, dense grass along the Mississippi levee fill the air.  Seemingly out of nowhere, a bird will flutter through the air and alight on top of a tall weed stalk.  It is interesting to slowly ride along the levee road, occasionally stopping to watch in silence, to see what different types of birds can be spotted.

male Bobolink

male Indigo bunting

male Dickcissel

immature male Orchard Oriole

Eastern Kingbird

male and female Red-winged blackbirds

“In order to see birds it is necessary to become part of the silence.”  ~Robert Lynd

Red-winged blackbirds

Flying among the tall grass along the levee were the red-winged blackbirds.  Stopping to perch atop tall stems, the male, with his bright shoulder patches, would occasionally puff up his wings and belt out a loud song.

The female, the less showy of the two with her streaked brown feathers, was quieter and more likely to be overlooked.

“Blackbirds are the cellos of the deep farms.”  ~Anne Stevenson

A drive along the levee

A leisurely drive along the Mississippi levee at this time of the year never disappoints.  One of my favorite sightings this month was several Ruby-throated hummingbirds darting in and out among the red clover.  We sat and watched their playful activity for some time.  No photos, but clear, beautiful images in my mind.

“Memory … is the diary that we all carry around with us.”  ~Oscar Wilde

Red-Winged Blackbirds

A male and female Red-winged blackbird sitting in a marshy area near the Mississippi River.

The marsh, to him who enters it in a receptive mood, holds, besides mosquitoes and stagnation, melody, the mystery of unknown waters, and the sweetness of Nature undisturbed by man.  ~ Charles William Beebe