Ranger Kathryn's Arches

April 5, 2011

Heart check

I was walking up Winter Camp Wash with another volunteer to look for old and new raptor nests. This is a drainage system below the most famous arch of all, and I had never seen Delicate Arch from this angle before. Camera ever ready, I tried to get all artsy-fartsy and blur the arch while focusing on the foreground plants, but I didn’t quite have the know-how to compose it properly. Still, it was fun.

This was one of those mornings when I pinched myself. “I get to do what? Hike into remote corners of this park and look for birds? Be immersed in nature? Perform data collection that will improve wildlife policies? Hear the peregrine falcon’s cry? Peer through good binoculars? Feel the sun and breezes on my face as I am surrounded by gorgeous red rocks? Watch Great Blue Herons in love?”

Springtime: my favorite season. Its cyclical representation of new beginnings brings hope and joy. When I see Red-tailed Hawks courting, or Great Blue Herons choosing their rookery spot together, a small twinge of wistfulness creeps in as I recall what it was like to share life with someone who adored me and would bring me my heart’s equivalent of the perfect twig for my nest. It’s healthy that I acknowledge the tiniest molecule of melancholy before I count the fathomless blessings of my very happy life.

You know, if love is not on the scene, I’ll take the second-best thing: dark chocolate.


  1. Lovely work, K – imaginative image and tall-masted text.
    Remember – digital shots are free, so shoot a hundred, edit ten and keep one.
    The play of the airily delicate plants against the massively delicate arch is food for the eyes as well as for thought.
    ” . . . perfect twig . . .” and “molecule of melancholy” are inspired . . . poetic . . .
    It sounds as if Spring has come to your life in more ways than one.

    Comment by leroque — April 6, 2011 @ 4:34 am | Reply

    • Thanks, Dad. I’ve decided that adding personal bits, snippets of emotion, and glimpses into who this blogger really is, only make for better reading. The herons bring twigs to each other during courtship and it is the sweetest thing ever.

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — April 6, 2011 @ 5:48 pm | Reply

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