Page the Second


A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi. (In front of you, a precipice. Behind you, wolves.)

Monday, February 29, 2016

Of Birds and Bunnies and Boys

This is a meandering set of thoughts on Spring in the year and in life.

Welp. It's spring in Arizona, which means it's in the eighties and I'm kicking off the covers at night. We don't have to put pillows up against the enormous gap in our door (you could shoot a package right under there with no problemo) or take the plants in at night anymore. Soon it'll be time to re-do the cooler.

It also means that the birds are getting chirpy again. Usually the mockingbirds are back by now. I can't figure out if they aren't because Sir Riles Barksalot makes it his morning mission to roust the birds out of bed or what. Because that's about the time those mockingbirds hit the rack. They like to hang out next to the window and take requests until the morning star hits the horizon. We had one recently, but he must have had a big gig elsewhere.

I don't know what it is about watching birds. In big groups, the patterns of their flight are mesmerizing. I often wonder what they'd be thinking if they had our brain capacity. I wonder if those are bird meetings up there on the power wires. What could they have to talk about? 

Strangely, I couldn't find pictures of them running across the road.
And what's with the quail? It seems like they either have the Roadkill Games, or it's a rite of passage to make it across the street right in front of our car without having to resort to wings. Maybe it's both. I can just see Quinn the Quail strutting around saying, "Yeah. I made it across 59 times today. Hot, huh?" He does that little strut with a hitch to say, "Come get some of this, Quailettes."

And singly, I love watching the perky little cactus wrens and the chickadees who come to nest in our birdhouse. We've had generation after generation in there. I know some of the new parents were babies before, because they fight over turf sometimes. It can get rather noisy. They also like to hide dog food bits in our pockets or cuffs. It's hilarious to be in a Scout meeting and find a dog food chunk in my pants cuff.

Also, doves. What's the idea of making doves be the love bird of the bird world? They're about as smart as a bag full of wet hair. Seriously. Every year they build a nest in our hanging planter next to the front door. And every year they freak out when we open it--that is, until they lay eggs. Then they never move again. And some of them build nests in the palm trees, which immediately fall right out. Silly doves. They should have made mockingbirds the love bird. They at least have the brains to sing more than one song.

It'll soon be time for the vultures and other raptors to be out. The baby bunnies and ground squirrel babies will be making their first rash ventures out of the hole and those raptors will be waiting.

We took a bunny out to the Wildlife preserve once. It had been hit by at least one car and was so dopey, I tripped over it when running at midnight. Then I found the same bunny on the way home. My son hopes to do his Eagle Project during Spring Break helping the Wildlife Preserve build cages. I hope he pulls it all together in time.

It's the Spring of my boy's life. He's a senior and clueless about the fact that if you throw a rock into a pond, you might not experience the effect of the ripples for some minutes. And sometimes those ripples can have long-lasting effects. Like the quails, sometimes they make rash choices when trying to impress people with how much they've grown in mind and/or body.

I had a young friend once who was trying to impress a girl by doing one-handed push-ups. For some strange reason he'd put a board beneath his forehead--maybe to prove he was touching his head to it. At any rate, his one hand slipped and he knocked himself out cold. Needless to say, his girl wasn't that impressed. He sure gave the rest of us (not his concerned parents) a ton of laughter.

Like the doves, my son gets territorial over his computer and doesn't want to move from it unless he gets startled out of his game. I wonder why he can just sit there oblivious, since it doesn't really benefit him at all. But between doves and boys--who knows?

Sometime soon he'll discover the opposite sex has some interesting qualities that don't necessarily include how many zombies she can kill with her thumb. His big brother is experiencing that scenario right now. The question will be, where will he settle down and build a family. At least the younger one still has some time. I'm here to help him if I can.

Maybe watching birds gives me insights I can use in my life...long before the vultures come for me.