Last summer, my family and I drove through San Francisco on our way to visit relatives. One of the places we went to was Lombard St. It's an insanely crooked street that goes down a seemingly near-vertical hill. Back and forth one motors the vehicle, driving past beautiful garden plots and neat homes but you are so busy peering over the dashboard that the flowers are just a blur. At least, that was my experience. Once we got to the bottom of the hill, we parked and I took photos of my family in front of the street/hill. As I snapped the camera, something caught my eye. A big flock of green parrots! I couldn't believe it! They flew from one tree over to another, briefly lighted and then they were off. I didn't get a photo because I used up the last of the film on the family photo. Darn! I was so excited and wondered about the parrots for quite some time.
A few weeks ago, I came across a book called, "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill". I had to get it and find out more about the birds we saw. The author, Mark Bittner, has spent many years studying and feeding these wild birds, caring for them when they were sick, watching them mature and raise babies. What impressed me about the book was his concern to keep the birds wild, though he wanted them to feel comfortable being near him. His fascination with their individual personalities made this book a fun read. He gave names to most the birds, ones he got to know individually. Interspersed in this book are his views on his own journey toward finding fulfillment in his life. I do not share his views on spiritual matters but I respect his earnest (and honest) search. But the birds are the focus of this book and that's what I enjoyed the most. There are some B&W photos of individual birds in the book and they are adorable. I don't know if I would have been so interested in this book, had I not seen those parrots that day. Talk about being in the right place at the right moment. I mean, they were only there a couple of seconds and then they were gone. I'm thankful God allowed me to be there right then. And now that I know so much about them, I'm looking forward to the next time we are able to visit San Francisco. I hope to go to some of the places mentioned in the book, where the birds congregate. As of a few years ago, there were 85 birds in the flock. Maybe, just maybe, I'll get to see them again!