One-word Daily Prompt: Believe
I often ride my bike to a nearby condominium complex that has a man-made pond with a fountain at its center. I also enjoy dozens of ducks and Canadian geese that gather in and around that site. A couple of times this year, I saw a huge white swan floating on the water. I nearly took out my phone to take a picture. Another time I saw two swans floating around.
I told myself, next time I will snap a photo of those swans. So on another bike ride, I saw a swan floating majestically at the far end of the pond. As I rode around the curve of the water, I noticed something that looked like a white board jutting out of the water. As I got closer I realized that board was the underbelly of a swan decoy. The geese must have done a massive shoulder shrug (do they have shoulders?) and probably head-butted that phony swan onto its side.
This saved me the humiliation of looking like a fool in front of the owners of those condos while snapping photos of swan decoys. Also my friends and relatives didn’t have to feign admiration of my phony birds.
I went home and discovered websites devoted to selling tools to get rid of geese and their large piles of poop. (Poop like a goose for a reason.) I won’t get started on the piles of waste produced by other animals (ahem, humans), maybe another blog post.
One goose-riddance website said that, “White Swans are very territorial, making it great to help keep geese away!” These geese saw through this deception, I did not.
If the swans don’t work, and apparently they don’t, the website also sells dive-bombing drones for geese removal. Great, now I can enjoy the water and birds while getting more paranoid by that drone following me. Or is it repelling geese? I usually look on the dark side so I’d guess that dive-bombing drone is out for my blood.
By Peter Massas
Because I like to watch the birds outside my windows, I can’t help but notice the squirrels. The nervously move through the tree branches, on the fences, under the bird feeders, and frequently peer into our windows at us.
Maybe they aren’t really looking at us, they may be looking for the nuts we bring into the house from the grocery store. I’m sure they smelled that large jar of fancy mixed nuts we bought for Christmas.
In October, some of my neighbors decorate their porches with corn stalks pulled from the field after harvest. Squirrels dash off with the dried ears of corn still attached to these stalks. One time I saw a squirrel running with the corn in his (or her) mouth with a four-foot long string of leaves trailing from behind.
A black walnut tree down the street is a favorite of the local squirrels. I’ve found the walnuts on window ledges on all sides of the house, in the nook between the drainpipe and house, on the garage workbench, in the backyard flower pots, on the patio table, and on top of the fence. My husband once accused me of messing with him by placing a black walnut on the tool chest in the garage. I told him that was a squirrelly practical joke and not one of mine.
One time I saw a squirrel run across the front sidewalk with what I thought was one of those walnuts. A few seconds later, that squirrel jumped up on the front window ledge and tucked a chewed up apple in the corner.
Now this is something new. Sometime late this morning, a bagel appeared outside on the kitchen windowsill. I’m guessing squirrel. Someone must have thrown out some old bagels this morning for the birds. Squirrelly grabbed it and hauled it up to one of his favorite “hiding” spots.
Nothin’ But A Good Time
Imagine that tomorrow, all of your duties and obligations evaporate for the day. You get the day all to yourself, to do anything you please. What types of fun activities would make your day?
Sweating, exercising, showering.
Book reading, reading, and reading.
Salad, crackers, maybe sandwich, maybe soup.
Bird watching, bird feeding, bird watering.
Bird seed, hummingbird nectar.
By bird bath spying.
Flower and plant eyeballing.
Insects, squirrels acting squirrelly.
Reading, fiction or non.
Writing and inadequacies explore.
Salmon and broccoli.
Clean, wash, some home upkeep.
Resist overdose on Internet.
Posted in Animals, birding, blogging, books, coffee, Daily Prompt, literature, Ramblings, Squirrels, Uncategorized
Tagged birds, boring, humor, literature, quiet life
Cars fly on roadside
Woodchuck grazing grass so near
Danger so tasty
When I was young, a neighbor friend of mine had two parakeets. The family was tired of these birds and since I always enjoyed them, they asked me if I wanted to keep them. I said yes.
These neighbors were German, or I should say they were Americans with German ancestry. They gave the birds German names: Nietzsche and Schopenhauer.
Now those were some complicated names for a kid and a couple of parakeets. My friend’s brother explained that they were named after some kind of philosophers. At the time, that explanation didn’t mean much to me.
The birds kept those names. I spoke endearing little things to Nietzsche and Schopenhauer every day.
I ended up being interested in philosophy. Recently, I read The Birth of Tragedy by Nietzsche and enjoyed it.
It didn’t start out that way. I tried to read it about two years ago and couldn’t get past the language and ideas. But if I put a book down and restart it at a later date, I discovered that not only can I get through it, I often have a good reading experience after all.
The first thing The Birth of Tragedy reminded me of was Camille Paglia. She also wrote extensively about the division between Apollo and Dionysus. And this Nietzsche guy was writing this way before her! How fun. I love to make connections between the past and present.
Also it reminded me of an English professor that taught 19th century American literature. He used to drop philosopher’s names in class in order to illustrate some point. I wanted to know more. I had already read some literature from the 19th century and loved it; his class increased that love. I still reread sections of Moby Dick as if it were scripture by just randomly pointing to a sentence in the book and going wild with the implications and deeper meaning. The 19th century Nietzsche with his deep and dark is right up my alley.
Back to reality. My mother used to force me to call my father. She wanted me to beg him to come back to her even though she divorced him. Between the calls she made and the calls she forced me to make, he was getting in trouble at work. I started to refuse to call him. After one such refusal, she grabbed one of my birds and threatened to kill it if I didn’t call him. She eventually released the bird, and I did not call.
I never knew which bird she grabbed. Was it Nietzsche or Schopenhauer that nearly bit the dust? A question for philosophy.
I must continue my readings.
Posted in Animals, books, dysfunctional family, literature, musings, Nietzsche, philosophy, Ramblings, Rants, Schopenhauer, teachers, The Birth of Tragedy, thoughts, Uncategorized, writers
Goldfinch in Winter
Spring is here. The goldfinches are back.
But in fact, the goldfinches never left, they stayed all winter. This is the first winter that we left the nyjer feeder sock out. A brown bird started to come to it. After doing some research, I found out that the bright yellow finches turn brownish for the winter.
With the coming of warmer weather, the goldfinches are yellowing up nicely.
All last week, it seemed like each finch was sporting more yellow feathers every day. The black and white stripes were gaining more contrast. I love the deep yellow birds with the dramatic bits of black. The winter doldrums are leaving, in with the warmer colors. Welcome back.
Goldfinch in Summer
Posted in Animals, birding, daily life, goldfinch, life, musings, Ramblings, Random Thoughts, seasons, thoughts, Uncategorized
Bird outside my computer room window, I want to perch you on my hand so I can feel your weightlessness.
Are you as light as air? Would your feathers feel soft against my hand? Or are your feathers rough, since your tiny toughness withstands harsh, icy winters while my large, heavy frame would perish besides you.
In general, you must avoid humans that could easily harm you intentionally or not. But make an exception for me, just this once. I’d be extraordinarily careful. Then afterwards, fly off again and never trust us again.