Monday, June 9, 2014

Bluebirds, happiness!

This past weekend brought a first for us. In the twenty-plus years we've lived on "The Property," I believe we've heard coyotes every year, often many times a year. My Better Half, early on Saturday, saw a coyote in the "back yard" for the first time. I, of course, was otherwise occupied elsewhere and so missed this sighting. Later, while we were sitting and enjoying our brief interlude of sunny weather, the bluebirds were busy feeding their nestlings.

female bluebird in back yard oak tree
female bluebird in back yard oak tree       © harrington

I've heard reports of goslings being sighted at some nearby wetlands but haven't yet seen any myself. This is the time of year when young of the year demand lots of care and feeding in the bird world, not so much on the reptilian side of the fence. Since birds evolved from reptiles, it makes me wonder who came up with the phrase "free as a bird," probably not a bird with hatchlings.

bluebird on pine tree
bluebird on pine tree                   © harrington

I'll resist the urge to speculate about whether the bluebird above is pining for the freedom she had before the eggs were laid or looking forward to the time when she and the hubby will be "empty nesters." One of the writers I admire, Susan Sontag, in her interview in the Paris Review, says "a writer is someone who pays attention to the world." There is so much to which we can pay attention, if only we will. During the few times I lived in a city, I learned to pay attention to the traffic, lest I get squished or severely bruised, or worse. In the country, I pay attention to all my relations, to see how things are going for them. To what will you pay attention during the rest of your one wild and precious life? Joanie Mackowski clearly paid attention during evolution class.

Birdsong

By Joanie Mackowski 

Bustle and caw. Recall the green heat
rising from the new minted earth, granite

and basalt, proto-continents shuffling
and stacking the deck, first shadows flung

from the ultraviolet haze. A fern
uncurls from the swamp, the microscopic furnace

of replication warms the world, one
becoming two, two four: exponential blossom.

Lush with collision, the teacup balance
of x and y, cells like balloons

escaping into the sky—then the dumbstruck
hour, unmoored by a river,

a first fish creeps to the land to marvel
at the monstrous buds of its toes. And stars

grow feet and walk across the years, into these dozing,
ordinary days, climbing the spine’s winding

stair, where crickets yawn and history spins.

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