Will whip-poor-wills continue to call from the forest edge behind our house or the aspen grove at the cabin up north for long enough for our son to hear them and remember them, so that he might recount them once they are gone, or will last year be the last year we heard them? Spring has become a time of anticipation, but it’s also a time of trepidation. Our landscape has probably already crossed a threshold that dooms these ridiculous gaping-mawed birds, and my hopes are now centered on the lesser goal of projecting their memory a generation or two deeper into posterity. It occurs to me that many of my peers living in eastern North America have never heard a whip-poor-will. Our grandparents have, if they grew up in the humid East outside of the big cities. This brings me sadness, because the whip-poor-will’s call through the afterlight or pre-dawn spring air is truly an earthly delight.




About prairiebotanist

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