Ptarmigans

The first time I ran across the name of this bird, I was working at the Smithsonian. And only recently did I realize this was the same sort of bird my Amma used to talk about, about how her and Afi would take walks in the winter and watch them scurry around. Now I see them outside my window from time to time, or hear the male croaking late at night. Like some elaborate courtship ritual, I have finally come to know this bird. And the funny name no longer seems so hard to pronounce, though I'm sure no proper Californian would know what I was talking about.

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