Amused Authors

Beauty and the Birdbrain by Kathleen
October 30, 2008, 4:43 pm
Filed under: life | Tags: , ,

I got up at 4 am today. My brother and I discovered two things this morning. One is that it only takes an hour and a half to drive from Denver to Colorado Springs, if you do it at that hour of the day. (Normally, you are driving behind six semi trucks, eighteen Subarus and an RV the size of the Washington Monument, and laughing hollowly as the 75 MPH signs creep past.)

We also discovered that it’s possible to drive right through and past the city of Colorado Springs, population 372,437, and fail to see it until you’ve gone right past and are wondering where it went. I’ve never been there in the dark, admittedly, but what was that–sleep driving? Anyhow, we turned around and went back.

We were aiming for the Garden of the Gods Park before sunrise, and it was worth it. The sky was black, with an arc of pale blue-peach coming up to the east. The stones are like vast plates on a stegosaur’s back, sedimentary plates turned vertical in some slow cataclysm. In the predawn, they are grim and colorless, waiting. When the sun comes up, the sky turns vivid and deep, and the ochre stones are flooded with gold.

Sitting on one of these stones, which are thin and narrow from one angle, broad and jagged from another, and twice as tall as the high ridge pines, was a peregrine falcon. He was gorgeous, self-assured, fully aware that we could present him no threat. From the many holes in the rock came the contented ruckus of cooing pigeons, which nest there.

Canny, the peregrine sat on a knob of stone on the other side of the rock from the nests, rather than lurking visibly on high. Then there was a flap and flutter of wings from the pigeons. Before they even appeared from my view, the peregrine launched himself silently, rising like a bullet and rounding the rock. There was an alarmed scrape and clatter from the other side and several pigeons scattered into the air. I don’t know, but I suspect that on the far side of the stone, one fewer silly pigeon was nesting.

We took quite a few pictures, some of which will be up later in the day at my deviant site. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these word pictures, at which I’m much more expert. I hope you get to see it someday, too. It’s quite something. Try not to miss the city.

Kathleen Brandt

PS – The other half of the story is at my website, above!


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Perks up at the mention of “deivant site” . Where is this beast?


Comment by Aubrey Leatherwood

Sorry, I forgot to put the link in! It’s at and there’s also a link from my site,


Comment by asherose

Sounds beautiful, Kathleen. Scenes like that are always inspiring for a writer.

Comment by Dara

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