Thus - having "set the stage" by describing my internal apparent conflict, I return to birding!
There is nothing in my vocabularly to describe the experience of having a representative of God's Nature land on your hand! Today, Judy had her first experience and I had only my second with an "outside" bird landing on our hands. While walking in the Kensington forest, we saw chickadee activity and "pished" while holding out our hands with bird seed. The chickadees responded! They alighted and fed from our hands!
Judy experiences a Chickadee!
We normally see birds as "things". We photograph them. We describe them. We study them. We sometimes even think we know them. We love them deeply, yet we hardly ever have a more personal relationship with them!
Yet, if you are in the right place, and fill your hand with good seeds, and extend your arm, you may just experience life as you have never studied it or known it before!
The experience is to feel no weight, yet to be intimately face to face with one of God's creations literally in the palm of your hand! You look each other in the eye! You share the experience of giving and receiving! (And, I note - who is really the giving party? Certainly we received far more than we gave!)
This is an entirely new side of Nature for even an experienced biologist and photographer such as myself! I was truly overwhelmed, and hence sharing tonight. I did it for Judy so she could learn some of my appreciation of Nature (I thought there was a good chance it might happen at that location known for hand-feeding, and it had happened once before ...), yet my personal rewards were far more than I had anticipated.
Yes, we snapped a few pics. Yet the pics and words cannot describe the brief moments we shared with the birds. These memories and our feelings of the experience will far outlive so many other memories of our lives! What an experience! And, truly inspirational!
I feel like I may have not described it well. Yet, until you have the expeience of having a "lighter than air living being" land on your hand you will not really know of what I speak!
Scientist: Chickadees came to our outstretched hands when we "pished" (a sound) at them with hands outstretched with good food. They are apparently accustomed to this here. It was expected.
Person: Blessed be the feathered creatures of God's earth for they lack nary any weight or substance, yet they bring God's life to your palm and will give you memories, and with one visit will touch you and remind you of your place in the Universe and lift your hope and spirits forever! My emotional reaction surprised me!
I really have no better way to explain it!
As a side note, why did I try it anyway the first time? I saw a note from a SE Michigan birder (appropriately it was Joy!) and just happened to have a few sunflower seeds in my pocket when I walked the trails the first time we went there. Along the trail, I was accosted by two chickadees who seemed to demand something from me. I fished my pocket, held out my hand, and they came to me and I briefly fed. I quickly came to believe! I wanted to share this with Judy today and wound up not only with her new experience, but an entirely new insight into myself!!