Birds were singing that beautiful morning, and there were hardly any clouds. I was walking up the pasture lane from where I had been birding.
Dad came walking down the lane. “I was back in the other woods,” he said. “I saw a Scarlet Tanager back there. It was only a little ways from me.”
That got me excited because I hadn’t seen a Scarlet Tanager for the last few years.
“Did you really? Where was it?” I asked.
“If you come with me, I’ll show you where,” he said. “Maybe it’s still there.”
Quickly we went back to the woods where he had seen it. But it was nowhere in sight. We walked on through the middle of the woods. Then we saw it.
A flash of red seemed to come out of nowhere and alighted on a branch not more than 25 feet (8 m) from us. Then we saw another flash of red and another tanager appeared…then another one…then another.
At last there were five or six of them, both males and females. We followed them for about fifteen minutes. Then they went onto our neighbor’s land, and we soon lost sight of them.
All this time I had barely looked at the woods around me. Warblers flitted from tree to tree, and woodpeckers, nuthatches, and creepers were going up and down the trees.
By the end of the day I had Magnolia Warbler, Yellow Warbler, and Black and White Warbler, also Common Yellowthroat and Hermit Thrush, a whole bunch of woodpeckers, nuthatches, and other year-round birds.
A few days later I had another great happening. I was walking through the woods birding when I came upon a whole “garden” of mushrooms. They were the biggest I had seen for years. At first I just stood there, stunned. Then I came to my senses and quickly got down on my knees, picking them up. I made a pile of them on the trail, then went back for more. I filled my cap, got out of my sweater, and filled that. I don’t know how I did it, but I did get them home somehow. There were seventy-seven of them, and the longest one was 8½ inches (22 cm) long! Now that was a day!