Murals at Fort Moultrie

This past weekend I had the privilege of joining some folks from the South Carolina Audubon on a bird walk. We walked a good bit around my current project site (Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historic Park, specifically Fort Moultrie) and saw species of birds that I had never given much thought to. We made our rounds across the fort, then walked through a nature trail, walked a bit of the beach, and made our way back to a fishing pier on Fort Moultrie’s property.

On our walk, we were all very focused on finding one bird, the Painted Bunting. Normally heard before it is seen, the male Painted Bunting will sing its song, from inside a heavily foliaged area, back and forth between itself and the other males surrounding it. It is particularly pleasing to catch a glimpse of because of its beautiful colors, a combination of different reds, blues, and greens. Sightings are declining as the years go by. We do know that the migratory songbirds like to spend their winters in caribbean islands and parts of South America. While we were searching for them, I thought it was pretty cool that if we did see one, it might have spent its last Christmas visiting my family in Panama or Jamaica.

I learned on our walk that birds have a kind of SOS or warning call that they do to let others know that danger is near. Different species might drop in to make sure that the bird that made the call is safe, and they will all retreat into hiding. Even if the birds checking in are predatory, in times of danger, for the most part, the different species will band together for safety.

After our walk, I thought about how like birds, the people in the community I have moved into are all very diverse and beautiful. Although I have not seen a lot of co-mingling since I’ve arrived, I do know this. In times of trouble, or in times of need, it has been proven over and over again that this community bands together. Most people love and want to be loved. Although this is not always apparent, I believe that there is a communication lacking within the populace, and it is preventing people from sharing that love of life with each other. I am taking it upon myself this summer to bring our community together as much as I can through events at my site. If there is one thing I’ve learned in my short time here, it is that the resources at our national parks are meant to be enjoyed by all. Each park has a story to teach us, and each story is as unique to the individual as the individual themself.

A group of Painted Buntings is known as a “mural”. A mosaic of a community, the people of South Carolina are similar to something like a mural (of the best kind) in their hometown.

I’m really liking it here.

¡Hasta la próxima!

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