I saw a beautiful blue jay on the wire outside my window, with unusual markings. I immediately ran for my bird books. I even called my dad to ask about blue jays with white brows. Dad knows birds.
I grew up in Tahoe, living my childhood life outdoors on the side of a quiet mountain. occasionally, my mother would wrangle the family into a day trip (we didn’t spend much time together; each of our own lives) but on this one trip, we drove the old brown Scout somewhere further into the mountains on an old logging road. Mom drove, dad sat on the hood with his binoculars and he let me join him. This was a huge deal for me, as my father spent little time with me as a kid, always deep in his books, preparing lectures for his classes.
Mom drove, while dad and I held onto the hood and quietly watched the woods. I don’ t remember what birds we saw or how long we were out there, but getting to sit next to him, while the wind went by and mom drove and the woods stood tall all around us is a treasured memory.