Walking. With Birdie.

4:55 a.m. 823 consecutive (almost) days on my daybreak walk at Cove Island Park. 823 days, like in a row.

I walk.

It’s hot. Like 76° F and it’s not even 5 am yet.  It was Eugenides who said: “It was one of those humid days when the atmosphere gets confused…you could feel it: the air wishing it was water.”

Yet, there was zero confusion here. I’m wearing long pants and a long sleeve shirt — because, I’ll be damned if I’m going to be scratching myself for the next two days from gnat bites. I would rather suffer through the heat, and b*tch about it, than let those pesky SOBs feast on me. DK 1, Gnats, no bloody chance.

But, it’s hot. On top of the long pants, long shirt, and the white, just-under-the-knee sweat socks, I’m dragging this backpack around, just in case some miracle of a bird sighting will require a long zoom lens. Take 1 day off, you obsessive, compulsive, maniacal idiot, or is it manic?… and leave the bag in the car.

I loosen the straps on the backpack, and shift the load a bit to rebalance, thinking this will help. It doesn’t.  Why is it so bloody heavy?

Sweat accumulates at my hair line, and drips down my back, my shirt is wet. The leather backpack straps now cut into my skin. I shift the load again.  It’s hot.  I mean how hot can 75° F at 5 am be? “It’s not the heat but the humidity that gets you.” What genius came up with this piece of brilliant thinking?

I reach for my neck to wipe the sweat off.  It’s not sweat. It’s a mosquito. I’ve learned that they don’t have teeth, they just gum the shit out of you until they break your skin.  I look at my index finger and thumb and there he is, swollen with my blood, it’s dripping out of him —  Vampire, little bastard.

No fountains near by to wash my hands, and no chance I will wipe fresh, scented blood on my shirt or pants, and walk around like live bait for other bloodsuckers. I bend down to the grass to wipe my hands, the backpack near toppling me over.  As I clean up, the no-good-morning Regular walks by, curious about the disturbance. He’s in shorts. A short sleeved shirt. Sneakers, no socks. Near Snow-White looking skin.  He’s slinging a policeman-size flashlight, the glare smacking my pupils who duck to hide. He doesn’t slow down, and it’s a good thing, I’ve about had it. One more test this morning, and there will be an altercation here that someone will regret.

Long pants and long shirt apparently are not enough. I need a Beekeeper Veil for protection. Mind drifts back ~12 years, when I carried “Birdie” on my shoulder mid-day at Cove Island Park.  God, I loved Birdie.  A Sun Conure that flapped its wings like a maniac when she saw me, and couldn’t wait to get up on my shoulder, her perch.  On that day, Rachel and Eric came along, but stayed back about 100 feet, disassociating themselves from their Bird-Man Father, as park patrons and their youngsters gawked. Look at that Mom, a Circus at Cove Island Park!

I turn around, and head back to the car. Enough of this sh*t. I sit in the air conditioning for five minutes, scratching my neck. May need stitches, or worse, may have caught the Zika virus and may need hospitalization.

Final Score? Gnats: 1. DK – 0. Out for the count. No contest.

Notes: Photos: DK with Birds @ Daybreak. 6:10 to 6:20 am, August 6, 2022. 76° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More photos from this morning here (birds), and here (landscape)


  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Amazing! … “It was Eugenides who said: “It was one of those humid days when the atmosphere gets confused…you could feel it: the air wishing it was water.” — Photos: DK with Birds @ Daybreak. 6:10 to 6:20 am, August 6, 2022. 76° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Those birds – are they egrets? Beautiful. They look like a synchronized dance group. I sympathize about the mosquitoes. I’ve just gone through weeks of fighting off black flies. Horrible things. But you were brave to get out there anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I avoid humid days like the plague.

    But thank you for the daybreak scenery on this humid day.

    As for Birdie, she’s one lucky bird.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m a bird lover too. I had a Unbrella Cockatoo, her name was Stormy. She was my baby, I got here at three weeks old and nursed her thru her baby period. She would do the same thing with her feathers and make all kinds of loud noises. Good photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. and the no-greeting human with the massive flashlight is still stuck in limbo. no points either way for him. just the status quo..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely to see this through your lens. Thank you DK.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. And there I was. Complaining about the tiny flyers making my life a hellish place and theirs paradise. Some days and nights thinking I might need a blood transfusion, so many new bites I had… but it’s all in the eye of the beholder isn’t it?
    Great story telling though. And the Birdie story …. you don’t cease to surprise me. I didn’t have you down as a bird dad. My ex as a young man had a canary who wd even pick stuff from his lips… I hated that bird. In hindsight I was probably just jealous!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That QUOTE though. Magic painting. So very true. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love the quote, pal, and the imagery it conjures. Here in Florida, they simply call it ‘air you can wear.’ I don’t mind the heat, truly, but I will never learn to love the humidity. This post, however… hope that the Zika virus doesn’t get ya. 😂😂 And Birdie? Sounds like a charmer. Happy Sunday, pal!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I don’t know where to begin…I was marveling at Eugenides, when I got distracted by white-skinned traveler with a flashlight and probably sprayed with a can of Deet, to the blood-sucking interloper who found something appetizing in a sweaty neck…to the bird who traveled with you?? Where to go with all of this – who knows, but it’s evocative and funny and frustrating and definitely deserving of a cold shower and a nap

    Liked by 2 people

  11. You never cease to surprise me. Not on your whinging about gnats (seriously, Dude, if you are nuts enough to go out where they can feed on you, at least spray yourself) and such but on Birdie? Whoa… Who’d a thunk?
    That quote is perfect. And dang. I just changed the header cover on my FB page and I think I’m changing it again but stealing your quote.
    You do find the best ones.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Oh David, we were all there with you and Eugenides! And, before forgetting as a result of all of your compelling descriptions, thank you for toughing it out and sharing the worst of it with us! I’m one of those ultra sensitive (former) redheads, and bugs and heat and cold and everything can disturb my peace. So, I have purchased Murphy’s Naturals pure lemon eucalyptus oil at Ace Hardware–in an easy small spray bottle. (I spray on my shoes and backs of my hands, and on any hat or cap)

    Liked by 1 person

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