Wednesday, May 22, 2013

pleased t' METCHA

On this day, the smallness of a thing: a diminutive warbler five inches long, weighing .34 ounce, was almost overwhelmed by the bigness of the place. Almost.

It's easy to see that in a setting as dramatic as a high mountain meadow in a storm, the place could so overshadow its inhabitants, even when those that live there are dramatic in their own right. Flighty and energetic. Splashed with pure Crayola crayon color straight from the box.

As the clouds rushed past and settled into the valley below, we began hearing a wispy song, light and ephemeral like the misty fog itself.

"Pleased, pleased, pleased to METCHA"


It took quite awhile to pinpoint the song, and even then, it was hard to draw a bead on its source because it was constantly moving; here and there, there and here.

Chestnut-sided warblers nest in the high elevations of East Tennessee generally between 3,000 and 6,000 feet. They like being near heath balds or disturbed areas—openings in the forest caused by fire or blight or man-made cuts like high mountain meadows or clearings left by loggers.

Chestnut-sideds like to build their nests just a few feet off the ground in blackberry brambles, blueberry bushes or young tree saplings. 

They were quite suited for the edges of our lost ridgetop grassy bald, even in a storm and they are just so pleased to METCHA.


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