Granted, most days are not like today. Two hundred and seventy days a year are gray and dreary. But today, I was blessed by the second day of cheer thanks to a small flock of Western Tanagers and one cranky female Northern Flicker sallying and calling from the cherry tree outside my office. The male Tanagers, adorable with red-orange hoods, sallied among the branches snatching insects on the fly. The olive females flitted closeby in an adjacent tree, perhaps keeping one eye on a nest.
The Northern Flicker seemed to have a sense of when I raised my camera, because as soon as I peered through the lens, she moved away. She likes to hang out in the cavity of an old wooden pole that bears an old rusting basketball hoop long abandoned. It perches there on the opening, calling its disdain for the more colorful Tanagers. The more frequent the sallying, the more voika-voika-voika-skreet!
I know the Tanagers will be gone soon; they don't stay for long. I look forward to them every spring. They happen to like the mixed "forest" there on the church campus, even though it is only yards from a main arterial. I suppose they'll be heading north soon, maybe following nearby I-5 up to British Columbia.
The Flicker, I hope, hangs around long enough to allow me to see some fledglings.
So...lucky? Well, today, it feels more like "blessed."