Michael's Metaphors of Life Journal header image 2

A Fox Sparrow Prospecting in the Ground Litter

April 14th, 2019 by Michael Dyet

fox sparrow 2

Hmmm, can less sometimes be more if we shift our perspective?

I have begun my annual spring migration birdwatching ritual. Hard to believe I have by pursuing this hobby for 35+ years and that my fascination with birds has not waned in that time.

However, aging and its effects has necessitated some changes. My energy level is not what it once was. More importantly, my temperamental back does not much like bending back to look up into the trees. My desire and my capabilities are perpetually at odds with another in this aspect of my life.

Consequently, covering as much ground as possible to max out my day count of species simply is not an option many days. Gradually, under protest and with no small amount of griping, I am adjusting. Now the objective for the day is more often one or two good sightings.

A Fox Sparrow falls into the definition of a good sighting as it is considered uncommon. This chunky sparrow, displaying bright, reddish brown plumage, is commonly seen strutting through the ground litter looking for a meal.

When I spotted one yesterday, I paused a moment to observe it at work. This moment of reflection allowed me for the first time to detect its distinctive and emphatic backward kicks clearing away dead leaves. It is clearly well adapted to the forest floor it inhabits.

In three and a half decades of birdwatching, it is the first time I paused long enough to notice this behaviour. Perhaps, my inner conflict notwithstanding, there is an upside to being forced to throttle down.

A strutting Fox Sparrow prospecting for a meal in the ground litter – a random act of metaphor to teach me that less can indeed be more sometimes if I open myself to the possibility.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at or the novel online companion at

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

Tags:   · · · No Comments