My Witt's End

Some Who Wander Are Lost

Camp Maumee

I was high on the week to come. Plans called for a week of astronomy and birding at one of the best combined sites in western Ohio at this time of the year--Maumee Bay State Park in Ottawa County. The weather was looking favorable, for the first few days at least. Wind from the south to carry migrating warblers our way, and clear nights with planet Jupiter putting on its best show in years.


It was late afternoon. I was in a pitched battle with the thirty-knot wind over proper placement of the rain fly for my tent. A woman walks by my campsite, pauses, and walks on. We're used to this. Our Little Guy Silver Shadow teardrop camper attracts a lot of attention. A few minutes later she's back, walks up to me without so much as a hello or howdy-do, and says, "You know what I like about eagles?"


With a loose guide line slapping me in the face I says, "Ah, no. Their feet?"


"The feet are okay, but I like the way they don't talk," my visitor says. "They're quiet. Eagles don't talk, ya know."


I figure, okay, I'll play along with this nutcase. I ask, "What do you think they'd say if they could talk?"


She screws up her face like one of those dried-apple dolls and says, "I ain't stupid. Not words. I mean singing, like these other dumb birds do in the morning. These other birds wake me every morning."


"Well, this is a state park," I offer.


She gets all huffy and says, "That's no excuse!" Then she folds her arms like a three-year-old who has made his point and walks out of my life.


I wanted to ask her why she'd been wearing a pink bicycle helmet for three days when I'd not seen her on a bike.


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