Walking. With the Spirit Flock.

It was Tuesday.

Another morning walk. 140 days, 140 consecutive days in a row.

My 5 mile loop to start each day. Same time. Same path.

I’m crawling out of bed a bit slower now, and wondering, “Maybe I take today off?” Days are getting shorter. Mornings darker. The sheen of watching daybreak, the first light illuminating the horizon, do I dare say, is becoming boring?

But we keep it going. If nothing else, it gives me something to boast about. Work that fragile ego. 

And Tuesday morning was setting up to be a replay of so many other mornings. Few surprises. My Swan sleeping alone at the edge of the cove. My Spirit Bird, the cormorant, fishing solo. That’s a photo I took of her —  her elegant curved neck, the matte black finish of her back, her gulping a breath before diving again.

I keep walking.

My camera goes back in the bag, and doesn’t leave the bag. Been here. Done that. Seen it before. Not worth the energy to pull it out of the sling.

I reach the Park and I approach the break wall. I’m looking out on Long Island Sound.  It’s quiet this morning. Few walkers. Calm. No wind.

I re-grip my camera bag to hoist myself up on the break wall and at that moment a flock of ~20 Canada Geese lift off the water, and surge low over my head. Those in the back honking to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.  It was one of those moments — the beat of 40 wings, the urgency of their calls.  I’ll knew that I’d remember this. Write about this.

I keep walking.

I’m thinking about why that moment was a moment. I was startled…a break of the silence. An interruption of the thoughts banging around in my head.  A piercing of the quiet, almost to say: Awaken Man. Look around you.

I keep walking.

I see another Cormorant feeding.  2 Spirit Birds in one Day. Now that’s Something. I take my camera out of my bag and snap a few shots.

I keep walking.

I notice another flock across the pond, but its not Geese. Smaller, darker, flying lower, wings flapping with greater urgency.

I stop to watch.

I swing my sling around to grab the zoom lens. Heart beating.  Come on Dave. Come on.

It was another Moment.

They were too far out even with the zoom.

I turned to walk back to the Park to see if I could get a better shot.

Hand shake. No time for tripod. No time to adjust camera settings. Blurry! It will be blurry!

25? 50? More?

Cormorants. A huge flock. Spirit Birds arrive in Mass.

And yep, the shots were blurry. A sloppy, amateur mess.

I sat behind my PC later in the day squinting at the shots.

It’s ok DK, it’s ok.

You were there to see it.


  • Photos: DK. September 22, 2020
  • Inspired by: “Henry David Thoreau, who walked more vigorously than me on the other side of the continent, wrote of the local, “An absolutely new prospect is a great happiness, and I can still get this any afternoon. Two or three hours’ walking will carry me to as strange a country as I expect ever to see. A single farmhouse which I had not seen before is sometimes as good as the dominions of the King of Dahomey. There is in fact a sort of harmony discoverable between the capabilities of the landscape within a circle of ten miles’ radius, or the limits of an afternoon walk, and the threescore years and ten of human life. It will never become quite familiar to you.” ~ Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking (Penguin Books (June 1, 2001)


  1. Love this. And our need to capture everything surely hinders our ability to just be in the moment, don’t you think? I know I’m guilty of it. And unlike your two shots. The blurry shows movement – not a bad thing at all.
    And while reading the Solnit snippet, I was thinking, gee, for once I feel in the loop as I read that passage in her book just a few days ago!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. your spirit bird refuses to let you fly off, it keeps pulling you back, knowing you’re teetering on the edge. what an amazing thing to witness, picture be damned.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’ll be back…. a truly good and inspiring one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love that your spirit animal arrived in droves – just when you needed them. The insistence of their wings, the purposefulness of their landing – you received their message, pal – keep your eyes and heart open as you walk. What you’re seeing is amazing.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I love how your spirit bird startled you out of your ‘rut’ several times this morning, pal. I tred the same path with my pups every morning and I am realizing that the familiar is deeply comforting. The same rabbit grazes a particular patch of grass, a fawn frolics by my neighbor’s lake, running towards me, then pivoting to run away, then stopping to see if we have given chase. I watch the dogs sniff the grass with obvious delight…noses twitching, eyes scanning the horizon. I think of it as them reading *their* morning paper, and I find it fascinating to watch. They seem to understand that our track, though seemingly identical every day, holds new mysteries and joys to be discovered, if only one takes the time. I am trying to learn from them. Have a great day!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Lori, you describe what your dogs do in the exact same words as I did with my dog. Reading the paper and collecting the ‘news of the day’…. But I never had ‘my own fawn or rabbit’ – all this sounds delightful and makes me happy to read. And YES, we can learn so much from our dogs – if only we gave ourselves the time and leisure to do it.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Beautiful. Thanks for sharing Lori. Have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You should thank your lucky gods – or whatever! The mother of your spirit bird(s) maybe?! Aren’t you just truly blessed in the truest sense of the word? Can you PLEASE see it, not with your excellent camera, not with any of your unnecessary electronic playthings, but ONLY and exclusively with your eyes, heart, and a bit of brain won’t hurt – but NOT in measuring numbers, sizes, clarity, whatever.
    This is such an outstanding post; you were quite honest with yourself and that wonderful Wanderlust citation gave you the ‘right kick’….. you’ve come a long way already, Dave – just walk it – be less demanding to yourself, let ‘things happen’, this is not Quality & Turnover Management, this is SOULFOOD. You can only be as good to others as you are to yourself. If you are all of what I loved reading about you in your description (and I believe you fully), you must take more care of yourself. Be less perfectionist, more forgiving, more ‘laisser faire’ and your quality of life will become a ‘joie de vivre’ (2 free Mini French lessons, but they say it the best).
    Thank you – hope you didn’t take this as a complaint, but as a compliment. I see all the truly good stuff, I doooobidooo!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes. You were there to see it. And your spirit whispers Hallelujah!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a great post. Walking opens up endless possibilities for seeing and enjoying the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sometimes experiencing it is more important than capturing it as a photo. Because no matter how simple it is do that, it diminishes the experience.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    The beauty of nature is a soothing balm!! … Photos: DK. September 22, 2020.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I had a new bird arrive at my birdbth last week, my heart jumped a beat. I still haven’t looked in my book to see what it was but it was beautiful and one I had not seen before. I keep water. feed and suet out year round. I have all types of feather friends. We even have ducks from the nearby pond stop by and eat under the feeder. We’ve even had to chase them out of the pool. My puppy would love to see that. He gets so excited to see bunnies on his walk each morning. Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I know that disappointment of seeing a potentially good image turn out blurry, but you have the right attitude – you were actually there to see it. And aren’t you glad you didn’t skip the walk this day?

    Liked by 2 people

  13. And they were there to see you.

    They made sure to see you on their way down south 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. You have to keep checking in With what the body is feeling. Does your body want some time out? Or is it your ego Mind pushing through to prove something… or prevent something the mind doesn’t want.
    Beyond striving and proving is acceptance and letting go… with spirit flock or not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. So true Val. And I just read this on Beth’s blog which aligns with your advice:

      The body does not know the difference between an experience and a thought; you can literally change your biology, neuro-circuitry, chemistry, hormones, and genes, simply by having an inner event.

      Dr. Joe Dispenza, Part II. Awaking in the Dream from the Dream: Why We’re Learning Lucid Dreaming (Nov 10, 2017)

      Liked by 1 person

  15. ….”the beat of 40 wings,”…. and ….”You were there to see it.”

    Dear Dave, how I love reading your posts… You express so beautifully… I can almost feel all these moments in your words… As if I was there too with my Mr.Sixty too… You make great… by walking, by taking pictures, by sharing with us… Thank you, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

  16. by they way I forgot to say, these 40 wings made me so excited… I have never seen by myself these moments… but I am not out door photographer… and also the ending words are exactly so true… we are doing this, Thank you again, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

  17. MOST important thing: you were there to see it! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

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