Another 200-word Set Piece in the series I’m calling, “Hey, We Birders Need Food Too, You Know” wherein we and the Red Tails use our occipital lobes to remember where the next meal is coming from, for us the Berkshire Country Store where good food comes with no gas and, for the Red Tail, the meadow with the hedgerow full of rabbits, voles, and field mice. (We birders are also able to use our memory of madeleines, as it were, stored in our parietal lobes to push us to turn the car around and retrace our steps to said Berkshire Country Store.)
Peering up binocularly, we spy a Red-tail peering down telescopically, both of us using our occipital lobes to visually interpret the signals coming in from the light-sensing cells in our retina to link them with images already stored back there: Like me, the Red-tail has a broad, detailed, wide-angle of vision; she instantly recognizes what’s vital–prey–and cruises, remembering the location of this vole and that rabbit. Unlike the Red-tail, I DON’T instantly recognize, but I DO SEE: Hermit ThrushJuncosHoodedCommon MergansersBlueBirdsHairyWoodpeckers. While Ray, Ronnie, and I scheme–predators that we are–our likely next source of food, our parietal lobes conjure memories of the sumptuous sandwiches we had at the refurbished Berkshire Country Store.* So, after rousing a Barred Owl by asking “whocooksforyou?” and photographing three Bald Eagles, one of them a juvie trying to rile the soaring Red-tail, we go back to the BCS where the food and the atmosphere are as welcoming as their sign: “Great food…(and, on a banner lashed to defunct gas pumps and printed on T-shirts for sale in the deli)…No Gas!!” While the RT digs into his vole we savor: a “Honey Moo Moo,” a California chicken sandwich, and the Philly Cheese Steak. Friendly food without peer.**
*103 Cemetery Hill Rd, West Cornwall, CT 06796;(Cross Streets: Near the intersection of Cemetery Hill Rd and Great Hollow Rd; (860) 672-2375; https://www.facebook.com/berkshirecountrystore/photos_stream; http://www.rep-am.com/articles/2014/01/21/news/local/779240.txt; http://www.yelp.com/biz/berkshire-country-store-west-cornwall
**Other menu items I’ve yet to try, but over which I am drooling: sweet potato soup, quality cheeses, chicken salad wrap with bacon and BBQ sauce, sweet potato fries with maple mayo, wide variety of specialty sodas…Just reading aloud from the blackboard of the day’s offerings is worth a visit. The minute we walked in at least three people greeted us, and only one of them was a worker person!
Urban red-tailed hawk resting on a fence post with live prey after snatching the pigeon in mid air