even if you can’t see it, you know it’s there

Back in 2014, as I was walking through my little bit of forest on the edge of the Missouri Ozarks, I saw a bird rise from the ground and flop around as though wounded. I wasn’t fooled. It was a whippoorwill, trying to draw me away from her ground nest. I walked carefully to where I had seen her rise, and I found these two chicks.

I had never heard a whippoorwill until I went to Scout camp as a boy. And then the things seemed to sing their three-note song incessantly through the night. Something about that fixated in me, and to this day, I love the call of the whippoorwill.

Most people will never see one. They are night birds that hunt by flying with their mouths open to catch any insects in their path. But you can still know that they’re there because you will hear their night call in the spring and early summer. Here’s a link if you want to hear one yourself.

In one of my stories, whippoorwills play an important role, not only for their natural existence but because they stand as a metaphor for knowing something exists even if you don’t have direct evidence of it. Someday maybe I can share that story with you.

Explore posts in the same categories: Fathers and Sons, Roundrock

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2 Comments on “even if you can’t see it, you know it’s there”

  1. Libby Says:

    I remember in my scouting days the call of the whippoorwill. Thanks for the picture.

  2. Dean Says:

    I do love the calls of the Whip-Poor-Wills from a distance but have less fond memories of two on either side of my tent one night on a canoe trip up north.


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