We always talk about paradise, looking everywhere for it, yet sometimes it is right under our noses. In fact, life gets so busy running daily errands we can pass right by it and not even notice. I know I have been guilty of that in the past; however, it was by pure chance one day, I was sleepy and wanted a quiet place to take a quick nap. Being a senior over 70 I can get away with taking a nap in the middle of the day. I call those sweet moments “snaps”. As luck would have it, I was passing Jensen Pond off Bluff Road in Syracuse. It looked like a fantastic place to pull over and take a quick snap.

I then saw the resident heron walking into the deep waters near the peninsula which separates the two big areas of the pond. He had just caught a fish. As he was trying to choke it down, four lazy pelicans came out of the blue, flying across the pond, hoping the heron would drop his prize. Water and wings were flying everywhere. What a commotion! I then realized there were 16 pelicans in total that day! Wow! I felt as if I was on the ocean front instead of Syracuse, Utah. 

There were also coots, mallard ducks, seagulls of all varieties, cowbirds starlings in huge flocks doing acrobatic maneuvers over the meadows, cormorants standing straight up on the water spreading and flapping their huge black wings, Texas grackles migrating northward along with some Canadian geese. One of my favorite moments was watching a pelican assault a cormorant by sneaking up from behind and giving it a good thwack on his head! I even saw a sandhill crane and a red kite circling above, trying to find their lunches.

How wonderful it is that someone here in Syracuse had the vision of having a wildlife area in these meadows. I met a photographer named Ryan Jones that had just come from Antelope Island where he had been photographing the horned meadow lark. I understand it’s the only area in the world where this species live.

I have always loved birds since I was a child. I have loved not only wild birds but my mother raised canaries. She bred red siskin that are very rare. The songs of these canaries bring very fond memories to mind. I have always wanted to find a Red Siskin for myself. 

A year ago my daughter called me to see if I wanted a bird. She apologized it was not a canary as she had found a parakeet in her garage after a huge windstorm. Excited, I found a cage and prepared it with all new food and toys. We put the parakeet in the cage but unfortunately it had died by the next morning. It broke my heart.

Since I had already prepared the cage I thought it would be a waste to not use it. A long trip to Bountiful Bird World was disappointing as it had gone out of business. Therefore I came back to Layton to our local pet store. Would you believe it, I found my red siskin canary. I asked if it was a male as only the males sing. The employee had no idea, therefore I had a 50/50 chance of it being a male. After buying my new canary I was already anticipating years of enjoyment with Sailor, my new canary.