The past couple of years have been so upside down, with issues that threw my “normal” into a tailspin. So today, when my birthday morning started off with a wake-up call for a pigeon rescue, I knew this day was going to be auspicious not for how special it was, but for how ordinary it would have been in my old life, in any other year … and how extraordinary that seems now, especially in the context of this pear-shaped 2020 we’ve all been through together.

The image above was first little face I saw this morning, a pigeon Hugh found grounded and battered in a dew-soaked field. Hugh has a tracker’s eye for injured birds, so I know what it means if I get a call from him when he’s out for an early walk. I don’t know how he spotted him or her in this field, but it was serendipity that brought them together.

Injured and Rescued Pigeon

The injuries seemed to indicate a predator attack or hawk hit, but we’ll get more information when we follow up with Wildcare.

After we delivered the pigeon to [the always incredible] Wildcare, where s/he is in great hands, we grabbed a Peets, under a sign overseen by a pigeon who looked like she could use an espresso herself.

Pigeon on Peets Sign

We found a place to be alone with the chatter of blackbirds and gallinules, and were graced by a visit from a family of river otters playing in the ponds.

So, these sweet faces frame a birthday that, in the past, I would have cherished for its positivity, but which today felt like paradise for its normalcy.

River Otter

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