Since my last visit, life happened and it has been very unforgiving. I’ve been looking forward to my visit all week long as it’ll finally give me a chance to forget about all of the woes of life.
This week my roommate decided to come along with me for my weekly visit to White Clay Creek. She wants a break from life too. She’s only ever been through the trail directly behind the University of Delaware’s North Campus, so to give her the whole White Clay experience we walked an hours worth into the woods to a place where we could see no remnants of North Campus. We were definitely miles away. Along the way, we would periodically stop, sit, watch, and listen to our surroundings.
On our way back to campus we were just strolling along a trail when out of nowhere a hurricane of birds came straight at us. At first, we were amazed at the sight before us, but all of a sudden we hear what sounds like light rain. Only what was coming from the sky was not rain as we soon found out seconds later. My roommate was attacked by bird poop and she began to scream “I’m hit! I’m hit!” and that’s all it took for us to start running with loads of adrenaline in our veins.
It was a hailstorm of bird crap and no matter where we ran the bird poop kept coming at us. It was as if they were aiming for us as everywhere we moved the birds continued to follow us. We felt like we were running a hurdles race since we were trying to dodge the obstacles coming from above. This was the moment the week literally went to shit.
Once we lost the birds, we looked at each other to see how many times we were hit. Let’s just say we looked like chital or white-spotted deer. We absolutely could not wait to shower after our traumatic experience. I know they say that getting hit with bird poop is supposed to be good luck, but oh my we did not feel lucky at all at that moment.
On the bright side of things, I was able to make a connection with my experience to Doug Tallamy’s book “Bringing Nature Home.” I can only imagine the number of seeds dispersed during the crap-storm where hundreds of birds “relieve[d themselves] of the load of alien seeds in [their] gut[s]” (84) all over the woods and on my roommate and I. I wonder if I come back next spring if I will notice more invasives in White Clay. After all White Clay is heavily infested with lots of invasives like mile-a-minute weed and oriental bittersweet.
While it was unfortunate that I had to experience getting pelted with bird feces, it did open my eyes to the incredible phenomenon of bird migration. I have never seen so many birds moving perfectly together in what appeared to be hundreds of v-formations with every bird depending on one another to fly by using the least amount of energy possible. The intricate, flawless movements of the birds fascinated me. I kept thinking how can these birds poop so much and yet not break the flying pattern?
It’s just crazy to think about how often experiences like this happen and how little people actually experience these interactions with nature nowadays. While my roommate might be regret coming with me to White Clay initially, I think as time goes on she’ll be grateful that she had the chance to experience the bird hurricane. I know it’ll be a moment I’ll never forget.