Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Variations on a Theme

While we're soaring with the exuberance of imagining some warmer sunny clime in our future, and simultaneously stressing about the cat's health and all of the packing we're going to have to do very quickly, we take a long look out the window and watch the various creatures deal with their place in the hierarchy of the wild.
Several beautiful Violet-Green Swallows arrived on the same day last week. Only one will get this nest box. For hours they took turns perched on the opening and denying access to the others.
We hadn't seen a Lesser House Finch in about two years. Most male House Finches are red. The yellows are those which don't have access to the highest quality food. Note this young gent is eating seed in the driveway gravel while the reds take turns on the seed feeder.
I've been reading about mallard behavior. Every piece I've read says that males leave the females when she starts sitting on the nest. That's it, relationship over. Here's what this drake does, day after day, he comes here alone and sits. He quacks and waits. He flies off, and he returns. Only when she comes, the one with restless wing syndrome (thanks for that description, mojoman) does he rest. An aggressive alpha male has tried to take over the pond. The mellow beta drake, and I with my human beta self asserted, chase that interloper off. This drake waits for her, and the lone female we call Ms. Gloria Steinem. The three of them rest all evening by the pond.
Stick Robin shows up a robust and healthy male. We secretly fantasize that he's the father of many of the young robins we've seen over the years. He's the eloquent teacher of how to survive being dealt a lousy hand. (Stick Robin photographed on Sunday. He looks good, doesn't he?)

Update: Bonsai's health is definitely improving. He's not happy about his new diet, but he's adjusting. He's even dealing with the daily dosing of antibiotics. We are surprised and heartened by how much he trusts us, even when we are making his life miserable.

The house inspection is scheduled for next Monday at 9:00 am. One more hurdle to clear on the road out of here.

We're not saying anything about politics these days. You know us. You know what we think. We were reminded the other day about Jon Stewart's tirade on Crossfire a few years ago, when he shouted how Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson's antics were killing our country. I think we're about due for another tirade about how almost all of media is killing our democracy. Perhaps this tirade will need all of our beta voices together. Just a thought.

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