absentminded way, only to realize that in an instant that space has been filled by a scream, a blast of air, and a Northern Flicker pinned beneath the claws of a Sharp-shinned Hawk. All of the enormity, all of the intricacies of that Flicker’s life were snuffed out in an instant, and had I not been there I would have never even known it existed. Even though it was the Flicker that had ceased to exist, I was the one left feeling the weight of my own fragility and insignificance. I felt very alone. But the smallness also makes each life that much more precious. There is another day when the unusual call of a Wilson’s Snipe summons me to the thick grasses of the marsh. A single Red-winged Blackbird catches my at- tention as he clings to a reed, squawking “oak-a-leeeeeee” while his red shoulder epaulets gleam in the late afternoon sun. But my attention and my breath are soon stolen by the sight of a black cloud rising from the grasses in the distance. Thousands and thousands of blackbirds have joined together in a flock that dances through the horizon, undulating in perfectly choreographed waves, cackling with such gusto that I feel as though I am hit with a pulse of blackbird voices as the cloud moves near me. And in that moment, each insignificant blackbird has fused together to form something of sheer wonder, and I laugh with uncontrollable joy at the power that my own insignificance gives me. By being so small, I can become part of something so enormous. By letting me share the small moments of their lives, the birds of Ucross connect me to the spinning world around us. As I watch Sand- hill Cranes dancing on the cusp of spring, Barn Swallow young becom- ing adults and leaving their muddy nests, Bald Eagles grappling with each other over a piece of meat, 9