A fragile life | AspenTimes.com

A fragile life

Dear Editor:On my way to work the other morning, as I was approaching the intersection of Highway 82 and Catherine Store from Missouri Heights, I noticed two large white birds flying together heading upvalley. The light was red but I kept my eyes on them. I pulled onto 82 heading toward Aspen and was still able to see the birds going the same direction. After about a mile I caught up with them as they wove at a very low elevation over the highway through the pastures on both sides. At a certain point the birds flew in behind me and were so close. I saw them in my rear-view mirror and it seemed they were following me for a moment … it was breathtakingly beautiful. The pair flapped their wings in perfect synchronicity and harmony when suddenly they decided to change direction toward the pasture on the north side of the highway. “Farewell, my friends,” I thought as I continued tracking them in the mirror when one of them struck the powerline over the highway and fell straight to the ground. NOOOOO!!!I drove back. There was a man and a woman on the other side of the highway pointing at the power line. I knew they had seen the accident so I signaled to the middle where I saw the bird fall. We met and found the limp body of a magnificent trumpeter swan still smelling of smoke. The kind man was as shocked and devastated as I … we had both been watching them fly. We decided that the bird should go to the veterinary clinic nearby. They will know what to do. They took her inside, confirmed she had passed, consoled me as I was thinking of her mate, and sent me on my way. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.Heather LaffertyCarbondale