[Tweeters] Karma

Connie Sidles csidles at isomedia.com
Sat Jul 23 12:20:58 PDT 2005

Hey tweets, In Wikipedia, I found this definition of karma:

"Karma literally means 'deed' or 'act' and more broadly names the universal
principle of cause and effect, action and reaction which governs all
life....According to the Vedas, if we sow goodness, we will reap goodness;
if we sow evil, we will reap evil."

As a practicing Jewish princess, I would like to add a little codicil to the
Vedic concept of karma: "If you suffer enough, God will eventually reward

I offer this concept to all you tweets to consider codifying as a
fundamental principle of birding. Take this past week for example. I had a
chance to take off on Thursday and Friday to do a little coastal birding
around Westport and Tokeland. On the way, I decided to stop off at the Kent
Ponds. My first inkling that all was not well karmastically was that the
Kent Ponds seemed to have exited their normal location and to have entered
some new, Twilight-Zonesque place. I drove around and around for an hour and
a half, trying to find the ponds. I would have given up much sooner and
headed south on my way, but I couldn't find I-5 either. Finally, the fates
relented and I found the ponds, only to discover that the best bird to be
seen there was a mallard, and that in eclipse. Upon re-entering I-5, I hit
traffic all the way down to Nisqually. By the time I arrived there, it was
noon, and all the birds had gone to siesta - except for some mallards, and
those in eclipse. Back in the car, I wended my way to Westport, arriving in
time to see two lone Heerman's Gulls - thank goodness *not* in eclipse,
although with the backlit sun blocking out all colors, who could be sure?
Realizing that the world had entered a painful phase and that, while
persistence pays, I have never aspired to emulate Sisyphus, I signed into a
motel and collapsed. My poor, overheated brain could think only two
thoughts, "Why am I a birder, if I am?" and, "Maybe I should collect Hummel
plates instead."

The next morning dawned misty with clouds. Ah, my favorite weather. I
hurriedly packed my gear and headed for Midway Beach in search of snowy
plovers. When I arrived at 7 a.m., I was the only person in sight, except
for an old man on a wobbly bike trailed by an equally old and wobbly dog. I
found that the giant lagoon at the end of the closed road had evaporated
into a few small, shallow pools. About 50 yards to the south, I could make
out a few blobs at the edge of the largest remaining pond. My binoculars
showed most of these to be semipalmated plovers and peeps, probably least
sandpipers. But scurrying among them was a very pale plover, in fact a SNOWY
PLOVER. I hied myself nearer and perched behind a stand or tall grass to
observe. Not one but three (!) SNOWIES were rushing, stopping, pecking,
rushing. One turned to face me head-on. It looked like a coracle on
matchsticks, broad in the beam and no keel. It studied me a moment, decided
I was part of the foliage and then went on foraging. I could see every

Later, on the way back to the car, I found a fourth SNOWY foraging in the
dry sand where the road peters out into the sand.

For the rest of the day, the light was golden (though still gray and misty)
with happiness. If that's what it takes to see a bird as magical as a snowy
plover, then the Kent Ponds can disappear on every birding trip I take. -
Connie, Seattle

csidles at isomedia.com

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