Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bird brains?

Between the snow storm and birds invading the house, it's been a strange 24 hours. As you can see, we got a little more than the 3+ inches that fell in "The Cities." We didn't quite reach Isanti's 19 inches, but we came close. No more jokes about the "Ides of April" (when the snow started), but I can't promise to not clean and rig fly fishing equipment even at the risk of triggering things like the scenes below.

Snow covered deck railing and bird feeders early April 17
Snow covered deck railing and bird feeders early April 17     © harrington

15 inches of snow on deck railing
15 inches of snow on deck railing            © harrington

If you don't recall yesterday's picture of juncoes, take a quick look. Last night we had a male junco in the family room. I have no idea how he got into the house. Much chasing around, unsuccessfully at first with a large landing net, then successfully when a smaller, softer meshed trout landing net was brought into play. The snow was deep enough that he couldn't be released through the porch screen door so he was released out the front door. This morning there was a pair of juncoes (male and female) trapped on the screen porch. after a few ridiculous attempts with the trout net, I gave up, got a snow shovel from the garage, waded through snow drifts that reached over the top (and drifted snow into) my Steger mukluks, and shoveled enough snow so the screen door could be propped open. The juncoes were then shooed out and the door closed. This country living stuff is so exciting. If you're old enough to remember Laugh-In, picture Arte Johnson's Wolfgang saying "interesting, but strange." [update: two more juncoes are in the screened porch, they must be hopping through a hole on the bottom of the screen door while they're feeding on seeds dropped from the feeder. I'll have to patch the hole as soon as I release these two captives.] All these feathered visitors put me in mind of one of the poems in Joe Paddock's DARK DREAMING, GLOBAL DIMMING.

Joe Paddock


We are not less
than the immense flight—
pterodactyls, dragonflies, eagles,
bats, ganders, the mighty
little songster wren—all
spiraling through time
toward us and the surround
of now, and within the great skies
of our flesh, this flight
is always with us, winging
hungry through the blood,
neurons, such happy geese, yelping:
"Yes! Yes!" and again, "Yes!"

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