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Look at Me!

Source: Personal experience

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My wife began to get interested in birds when the birds spoke to her.

My wife is not very interested in the natural world, and views my own interest with some puzzlement. But she goes along on hikes once in a while, short ones, and tries to get some idea of what I find so fascinating. But she usually gets bored rapidly, and just wants to get the hike over with so we can go shopping or something.

One day in Beaver Brook, I stopped where the Beaver Brook Trail crosses the brook at the south end of the Beaver Pond. My wife was getting impatient, but I was trying to get a look at the American goldfinch (Carduelis tristis tristis) that I heard calling from somewhere along the edge of the swamp.

I moved quietly, trying to locate the source of the repeated "per-chic-o-REE." My wife started trying to get me to move on.

"I'm trying to get a look at that bird."

"Forget about the dumb bird! Let's go!"

"But he's talking to you. Hear him? 'Oh, look at me! Oh, look at me!'"

She laughed a bit. After a couple more repetitions from the bird, she joined in, "Oh, look at me!"

For a time, this interpretation of its call endeared the goldfinch to my wife. She always recognized their invitation, "Oh, look at me!"

Unfortunately, it didn't last. After a couple of weeks, she reverted to her usual lack of interest in goldfinches, birds in general, and my whole "dumb" natural world.

But it did last for me. I no longer hear the conventional "per-chic-o-REE" call of the American goldfinch. I smile to myself whenever I hear them: "Oh, look at me! Oh, look at me!"

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