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Kiowa County Signal - Kiowa County, KS
A banquet of sound
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By Brandon Case
March 17, 2013 9:46 a.m.



This Sunday morning dawned cloudy and cold. Despite the gray above, a plethora of birds filled the skies and trees above town. Cheerfully welcoming the sunrise, at least a dozen different birdsongs greeted my dog and I on our early morning walk.

 It’s the clearest indication yet that spring has arrived, despite officially being three days away.

The early morning, almost windless walk proved to be a feast for the ears. While easily identifying the songs of mourning doves, a cardinal, several robins, and the tapping of a couple of woodpeckers, I realized that my audio identification skills are severely lacking. I made a mental note to talk to Chris Schrack at the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks about borrowing some CDs to help with this.

In the midst of whatever challenges we may be facing, a little time spent outdoors provide a great uplift—whether it’s walking across town, on the Natural Trails at Lemon Park or Green Recreation Trail, or whatever is your chosen way to interact with nature.

As I listened to and watched the birds going about their morning business—one chased another incessantly and almost flew straight into me as I walked (mating season, I resolved)—I thought of lyrics to a John Denver song: “Sweet, sweet surrender / Live, live without care / Like a fish in the water / Like a bird in the air.” Of course, birds do have a few cares, like the daily struggle to survive and provide for their young.

In any case, the unorchestrated symphony performed by our Avian friends this Sunday morning was a banquet of sound. Like the preacher, who spoke at my great uncle John Myers’ funeral in Hardtner this past Thursday, said, “It’s a beautiful day today. If you can’t enjoy this day, then you’re probably hard to please.”  I’m thankful to have synchronized my walk with the sun’s rising.

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