Come to me my chickadee!

Trying to get to the Beech forest has generally been an abortive enterprise.

The first time my friend Katrina was supposed to take me I fell sick. The second time I went with Tara and kids and we got disheartened half way and didn't continue. All we saw were a couple gold finches and no amount of scattering crumbs and Mihir making guttural sounds that were supposed to be bird calls helped.

Third time lucky!

I had given up on the forest and then my friend Stefanie suddenly emailed to say she'd take me.

We spent an afternoon walking there and at an abandoned salt marsh called Hatcher's Harbour. Finally there were birds, and I didn't just soared them winging! A downy woodpecker - which has V shaped black and white stripes and a slash of red on its head; Canadian geese fat and tame on endless bread; tit-mice with their square grey bodies and surfer hair-dos; red striped blackbirds, which have red under-wings, visible as a blood red streak when they are perched.

The forest itself, denuded of leaves, was Tolkeinesque, primitive, scary and beautiful. There's something thrilling about knowing the oldness of land as you walk through it. A sense of its long life and the awe-fullness of nature, that undoes the fear of death.

And at Hatcher'sHarbour, a cranberry bog! Later in the year while I am in Bombay's September heat, as the rains leave, there will be fruit here...


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