Trail Notes April 30th – Turkey Vulture

In flight


This morning I was fortunate enough to see my second rare bird this spring. On the Trans Canada Trail I came upon a Turkey Vulture! First I walked through an unusual wall of agitated crow racket. I managed to be about 30-40 feet from the bird who wasn’t very shy. Unfortunately all I have is the camera on my phone so the images aren’t great. I’m always grateful for small events like this.

On March 30th a Red-Bellied Woodpecker lingered in the trees in our backyard. Another very rare bird for our parts. Soon it may be time for a new camera.




We find. Grip and squeeze. Paint our faces dance

grow feathers and fly. Preoccupy. Become.


Obsessed. Forgotten.


Sound of saltwater licking dark stone,

bleached white roots and branch. Drift and sway.


Skin shed. Antlers dropped damp and spotted green.

Rusty spikes. Tin cans, porcelain shards and bottles.


That drawing on the wall. This poem.


These words. Beach-glass and broken shell strung

on fishing line or binder twine and worn


around the neck

for one meteor-showered moment.



Morning Trail Notes – Hyalophora Cecropia

Hyalophora cecropia cocoon?


I came upon this large cocoon on the trail. It’s about the size of a fist. Some quick research points to Hyalophora Cecropia, North America’s largest native moth. Apparently these giant beauties are designed to reproduce, and only live for about 2 weeks.*

These are the birds I saw inside of a couple of hours: Mourning Doves, Blue Jays, Common Grackles, Juncos, Gold Finches, Robins, Eagles, Osprey, Double Crested Cormorant, Blue Heron, Hooded Merganser, Green-winged Teal, Crows, Raven, Song Sparrows, White Throated Sparrow (heard), Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker (heard), Red-winged Blackbird, Chickadees, Black Duck, Belted Kingfishers… one hawk to high to make out and no doubt a few I’m forgetting.

South wind 30, gusting to 50 kilometres an hour.

Seems like poetry to me.



Winter journey home


Dead on the path; crow’s change.

Young eagle waits and the wind

speaks signs.


Spirit-led to harbour seal

skull and bones. Bury them

under leaves.


Feathers and matted fur. Leaf spirals.


Layer upon layer

of Sufi veils. Sudden God

then some more.


Desire, sly trapper

sets bait, loops the snare. Stop.

Just turn around.



On east veranda

with T’ao Ch’ien. Breath chants

a quiet return.*



* David Hinton, Mountain Home