Early evening. I was walking about campus postering for Maslab, an excellent IAP robotics competition, when I happened to step through the west-facing doors of building 16. Already having been assaulted by the beauty of the sky lit by afternoon/setting sun, I was assaulted by the sound of dozens of songbirds, almost all quite clearly in the same two trees, right to my left, near where I was standing. The harmoniousness and the unification of the many distinct sounds, like the susurrus of leaves on any other (windier) day, drew me closer. I stood there, where I could see quite a few sparrows clearly, listening in awe. Even the food truck pigeons, numerously mighty in their own right, would have been in awe. So much richness of sound, in just a few distinguishable (to me) vocalizations; so much nicer a sound than would be produced by a flock of humans!
I looked at the benches below the branches of those two trees, and noticed a great profusion of characteristic white splotches on them and their surroundings. I understood. I thought to myself, Perhaps I should stay my distance, and listen untroubled by such concerns. And of course, I wondered why I had never seen and heard this sight and hearing before. Those very trees, in fact, in my 25 months here, I had never truly noticed.
"And then it hit you?" No, actually, it hit the top of the stack of posters in my hands. (I did try to remove it, of course, but there remained an indelible stain.)