Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wednesday Miscellany

It's hot and humid. The day is one piece of uncomfortable business after another-- Phone calls, the DMV, license plates, the bike shop for new tires on the 30 year old bicycle found hanging in the garage so I can get around town, and paperwork. Always, more paper to shuffle and organize.

4:33PM After hacking a couple of mounds out of the untilled garden for the cucumber and mush melon plants, I suddenly see the Bleeding Heart has come into blossom. It's one of those flowers that is somehow "unexpected" no matter how often one sees it.

4:34PM I put a tomato cage around the last patch of Milkweed in the yard grass. There had been several Milkweed patches in the yard that I had carefully clipped the grass around by hand to preserve the native plants. Unfortunately a very helpful relative who was fixing the lawn mower thought he'd help me by testing it on those pesky Milkweed marring the even height of the grass. He felt rather terrible when he found out I'd been saving them so to avoid future milkweed misfortune, the protective wire is better for everyone, particularly the Milkweed.

8:54PM Earlier in the day, I'd been asked just exactly that big nest was up in the pine tree. Well, good question. It could be a squirrel's nest but then again it could be something else. Having no way to get a good look at it, I come back later in the day. My cousin Carol comes out to check as do her two Grandsons Aaron and Cole, 12 and 9 respectively. It looks squirrelly to me.

8:54PM When I look again, there is a squirrel Mom lying prone on her doorstep. Her mammary glands are either very full or very swollen. Is she in labor? Or perhaps her snug nest and warm progeny have caused her to escape for a moment to catch the sunset breeze. Unfortunately the boys begin talking about shooting her in a possibly joking way. Needless to say, I don't find this the least amusing, and say so. I keep hoping that the intimacy of magnification and details of an individual animals life will bring them round to empathy with it. A hope that eventually the first thought about the natural world is not about hunting an animal but rather a prick of curiosity about it's life.

9:09PM Aaron and Cole are now getting into the Easter Egg Hunt of birding, they swing their binoculars with the zipping flight of a Chipping Sparrow. He begins his mating routine, quivering tail, shivering baby bird wings while the female stands on a cultivator watching. The boys say he's very cute and don't mention shooting him. Maybe this will work after all.

9:24PM We mustn't forget the Moon but I almost do. Cole points it out--yes, maybe it is working.

Donegal Browne

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