Photo credit: Greg Lavaty, Texas Target Birds
A Sense of Wonder
Bringing my binoculars to my eyes, I see movement. A flock of American robins are feasting feverishly on hackberries—they must know that rain is coming, and I can sense it too. Alighting on bare branches they continue to eat. It will be a cold, wet night for them.
Suddenly, my eyes are drawn to another small bird, nervously flitting from branch to branch. A tiny ruby-crowned kinglet. A gem in this winter landscape, he’s systematically working the tree trunk for spiders, and other insects. As I watch, awed by his focus and intensity, a sudden, harsh gust of wind knocks over some metal gardening equipment with a resounding clatter. Still watching as the wind blows, this amazing little bird doesn’t miss a beat. Even though he could easily sit in the palm of your hand and weighs less than a paperclip, he isn’t dislodged. Far from it, he continues on with his intense search for food, braced against the tree trunk, feathers ruffled and jostled by the wind. His tenacity astonishes me, and I am filled with wonder.
Watching quietly, I realize this sense of wonder is something I rarely experience in my haste to check off a never-ending list of daily chores. Yet this feeling connects me to the natural world in a very fundamental and ancient way, and is the driving force behind the work we do as interpreters to craft engaging interpretive signage for visitors to enjoy.