Right Now

The peacefulness of my morning coffee on the deck has been shattered by some kind of nature emergency in my backyard.

A furious swirl of birds came swooping over the deck, tumbled around over the garage and then zoomed in wide arcs near the trees over the side fence. The sound they were making was without doubt screaming. They’d keep flying back towards a big tree on the opposite side of the yard where a wild chittering was happening. They’d keep doing the wide arc alarm flights towards every compass point and occasionally stop to light on the branches of the big tree. The chittering never stopped.

This was an interspecies event. Single birds would come from wherever their morning bird business was going on and they would also light near the tree. I couldn’t tell you what kinds of birds they were – they all looked black against the sunny sky – but I could see that the main swirl of alarm birds were all the same size and some of the new joiners were smaller. The cardinal that is currently guarding a nest in the branch pile  at the edge of the creek did not participate.

Chittering, screaming  and arcing went on for at least 6 minutes, which seems to me like a long time for a nature emergency. Here’s an oddity: my dog, always one for a good galloping dog-on-bird bark session*, was completely silent  and still during the whole thing. Then the skies went silent all at once.

Maybe a squirrel was molesting a nest but #1 I think squirrels are vegetarians and #2 nest molestation must happen all the time. I’ve never seen such a ruckus before #3 multiple species of birds were involved. Would a dark-eyed junco care if Phoebe babies were ravaged? i suppose it could have been something involving the local Red Tailed Hawk but I didn’t hear the typical hawk screeching and the action was definitely happening at a sea level much lower than where the hawk usually perches and you would think that a trouble-making hawk would grab what he’s after and head for higher ground instead of staying at the crime scene.

Now it’s all over. After the silence, the normal gentle birdsong resumed.


* First the tragedy and now the comedy. Suzette, you are inappropriate.

One of the tweets I am most proud of got no reaction at all from the Twitterati. And that speaks volumes about them, I think, not me. Read this and evaluate it for me please. Is it witty or am I losing my touch?


I slay me!

Weather Reports for the Left and Right Sides of the Brain

The left-side of the brain is considered to be adept at tasks that involve logic, language and analytical thinking. The right side of the brain is best at expressive and creative tasks and expressing emotion.

It wasn’t enough that The Weather Channel on TV could get you all riled up about Canadian air masses and areas of turbulence over Oklahoma, now you can get upset on your smart phone, too. I used to lean towards not believing weathermen in general but ya know that little thing called Hurricane Sandy when I had no power for 13 days kind of ruined my peace of mind.



Also, my Gmail background just turned from dark rain clouds to deceptively inviting snow.

Read along as a sweetly naive California native plans an evening and then smacks up against the reality of winter.

I made a big pot of chili today to keep us warm. Remember when I used to complain that I made myself sick by eating 2 big bowls of cabbage soup? Well now I do it with chili. No longer an isolated food craving – now a trend. One is not enough and two is too many. True for martinis; true for your hearty winter soups.

Another Sad Goodbye

A stupid tree couldn’t take the heat anymore and came crashing down on my hosta bed, the centerpiece of which was my bird bath in the style of a tree trunk. It was a birthday present from my children to mark my 40th birthday. I loved it so much – I can’t believe I can’t put my finger on a picture of it at the moment. Here’s the now-squashed bird that sat in the center of it:

This is not the original birthday bird. The original one was leaner and more realistic. It held a little round thing in it’s pointy beak. I always thought it was a stone and that it represented Aesop’s fable about the crow that dropped pebbles into a water pitcher until the water level rose high enough for the crow to drink from it. Which was pretty damned sophisticated for something from the K Mart garden center. The original crow was a victim of harsh winter weather. It always fell over sideways when the water froze and that happened once too often. This bird never fell over but look how things ended up. You cannot change your destiny.

The whole thing was like a little petrified tree. The bowl was like a cross-cut of the tree trunk – you can see the “rings” and the “splits” in it here. Can you see the thick bark around the edges? The outside of the bowl and the entire base was realistically patterned to look like bark.

Ah me. I was just thinking this week that I was going to get rid of all the plants on the far side of the deck and move the birdbath over there to be a focal point in front of a curved line of Sunny Knock Outs. Life, eh? We make plans and God laughs.

stupid tree