All my life, I’ve heard about the elusive woodcock – how hard to hit, so fleeting a glance in the dense woods, majestic in it’s brevity in our sight…
This little bird has won a place in so many a hunter’s hearts. It has certainly won mine. Truth is, I’ve never really seen one. I mean, I saw a flash a couple of times in the dense woods of western Pennsylvania where I lived for a while, and the folks I was with went crazy with the “did you see its”?? I was able to say, with all honesty each time that yes, I had, in fact, seen something. I would have been lying, however, if I had definitively said it was a woodcock.
Fast forward to recently in New York. As I froze getting from meeting to meeting during my brief visit, this poor little thing was on whatever migration he was on, and a little like the moth to the light, he showed up in the wrong place. There’s a metaphor to be drawn here about the big city and its draw for a little wild country soul…
yea, here’s where I saw my first woodcock.
There on the asphalt. Midtown Manhattan.
And here’s where the other country soul turned some heads.
Just walk by? Are you kidding?
The amazing part was the number of people that stopped and asked what he was, where he might have come from, and why in the Sam Houston was I taking a picture of a dead bird in the middle of the sidewalk off Sixth Avenue at 8PM. It’s funny how the hunter ends up sad for the little bird she might have hunted in the woods (where undoubtedly, Mr. Woodcock would win every time) — but, here, we’re both out of our elements in a way. I’m just sorry I couldn’t have helped the little guy.