Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Best wishes?

Yesterday I watched a hen turkey peck her way through the back yard. My first thought was "I hope she finds plenty of ticks to eat," thinking that would diminish the tick population substantially. Then, I realized that I wasn't actually concerned with how much the turkey ate, but with the yard holding as few ticks as possible. At this point it occurred to me that I had no idea whether the results I wanted were or were not dependent on a sparse or dense initial concentration of potential turkey food. My final thoughts were along the lines of "I hope she gets them all," but then, again, remembering that nature abhors a vacuum, I promptly became nervous about what might come to take the place of the consumed ticks. All of which left me remembering some of the best (unfollowed) advice my mother ever gave me: "be careful what you wish for, you may get it."

hen turkey pecking away
hen turkey pecking away
Photo by J. Harrington

This year, unlike last, orioles have generally avoided our feeders, both nectar and grape jelly. Night visitors, most likely raccoons, have several times enjoyed both, so we started to bring them in at night, along with the sunflower seed feeders, to minimize attractions for any wandering bears. The feeders in question hang from metal rods attached to the railing of the second floor deck. Never-the-less, the nectar feeder has somehow caught the attention of large black ants, several of whom climbed through the feeding tubes, couldn't find their way out again, and drowned. I hope they died happy, surrounded by more food than they could ever wish for. I believe it was from my grandmother that I learned "if wishes were horses, beggars would ride." My wish right now is for a clever way to close today's posting so I'll wish that you read the poem below.

oriole at nectar feeder last year
oriole at nectar feeder last year
Photo by J. Harrington

Countermeasures

By Sara Miller

I wish I could keep my thoughts in order
and my ducks in a row.
I wish I could keep my ducks in a thought
or my thoughts in a duck.
My point is that we all exist, wetly, in the hunt.
The ducks are aware of this
in their own way, which is floating.
The way of the mind is brevity.
There may be other thoughts on other days
in the minds of other and better men
and their constant companions, the women,
but these same tidy capsules — never.
This is just one of the things
I noticed about my thoughts
as they passed easefully by.


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