Saturday, August 31, 2013

For the birds

photo of field of sandhill cranes
© harrington
Welcome. Thanks for visiting. I hope you enjoy your Labor Day Weekend. The picture above was taken yesterday on my way to pick up this week's Community Supported Agriculture share at the WEI's farm at Amador Hill. I count something like two dozen or so sandhill cranes in that field. That's more than I've seen anywhere else locally. Within the past week, I've also seen Canada (not Canadian unless you saw them cross the border) geese, fully fledged and recovered from their molt, starting their Autumn "training flights." This makes sandhill cranes and Canada geese part of my answer to today's bioregional quiz Where you at question "14.    Name five resident and five migratory birds in your area." Here's my complete answer:

Tomorrow's question, which will get us three-quarters of the way through the quiz, is "15.    What is the land-use history of where you live?" No time frame provided. Thanks for listening. Come again when you can. Rants, raves and reflections served here daily. Poetry (see below) irregularly.

Early Frost

By Scott Cairns
This morning the world’s white face reminds us   
that life intends to become serious again.
And the same loud birds that all summer long   
annoyed us with their high attitudes and chatter   
silently line the gibbet of the fence a little stunned,   
chastened enough.

They look as if they’re waiting for things
to grow worse, but are watching the house,   
as if somewhere in their dim memories
they recall something about this abandoned garden   
that could save them.

The neighbor’s dog has also learned to wake   
without exaggeration. And the neighbor himself   
has made it to his car with less noise, starting
the small engine with a kind of reverence. At the window   
his wife witnesses this bleak tableau, blinking   
her eyes, silent.

I fill the feeders to the top and cart them   
to the tree, hurrying back inside
to leave the morning to these ridiculous   
birds, who, reminded, find the rough shelters,   
bow, and then feed.