Lou and Leah Berner went on a long walk with me through the park yesterday. I always enjoy our walks together because they really see. I’ve looked at tree snags, fallen limbs and logs throughout this forest but always see something new hiking with the Berners. We studied the variation in trees and second story shrubs on the north slope vs south slope because sun and wind exposure has an affect on what grows. We identified an old Big Leaf Maple grove that I missed even though I’ve walked through the area countless times. Lou discovered and pointed out signs of wildlife movement noticing footprints, droppings and corridors along shrubs where deer and coyote travel.
At the beginning of our hike Lou spotted a lifeless Townsend Warbler in the leaves, undecided to let it be or to try to warm and revive it, we voted. We decided to give the bird a chance. Lou picked it up, breathed warm air on it fluttering the bird’s feathers, then warmed it in his pocket during the walk. We checked the bird in his pocket on our way out, it was the last flight and landing for the Townsend Warbler.