Ommateum

Ommateum

Firsts and Lasts On a Morning Walk

Wayne Mones
Published: 04/25/2008

Ommateum: A Morning Walk

This moring I heard my first Yellow Warbler of 2008. On Tuesday, the first fight for a nest cavity between a gang of Starlings and a pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers. On Sunday, we saw the season’s first Blue-headed Vireo. Last week, the first Pine and Palm Warblers. The first Phoebe’s. Two weeks past, the first Flickers. Six weeks past, the first singing Cardinals.

Spring is the season of firsts. It is also the season of lasts. The last Bufflehead. The last Northern Gannet. Those of us who do Big Days in the Spring pray for firsts and lasts to puff up our species counts. We count on finding a few early arrivals and few stragglers.  Firsts and lasts are laden with hope and dispair, risk and reward. Firsts and lasts confer a compound vision. A vision of how everything is connected to everything else. After the first, the rest can’t be too far behind. Someone else's lasts are on the way.  Tomorrow, ours will be someone else’s firsts.  And so it goes.

What else is there to fill your head on an early morning walk in the Spring?