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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The birds are open / historical signs of spring

I heard a red-winged blackbird calling this morning, right before I headed into Shelly’s Deli. I’ve heard those spring-like prompts, in previous mid-Februarys and marked those refreshing dates down on old calendars. This got me interesting in thinking about other historical markers of spring, such as which day did the bike path first open and when did the excavator initially clear rockslides off Trail Creek road with his huge skip-grader.

In fact, Steve and I pursued this one soaring spring, actually contacting both the Recreation District and Idaho Transportation Department to see, if in fact, they kept pertinent opening day records. Both of their offices seemed to think that there was indeed some documentation; even it was only an informal log-chart scribbled into the excavator’s notebook; however, we were never able to track down this precise measurement of spring.

It would be interesting to hold those elusive opening day charts up on the wall together to compare their various parameters.

Late this afternoon, as I was clearing out the truck by the tall pines fronting Ciro’s restaurant, about 400 bohemian waxwings began orchestrating a magnificent performance of flight and song. They swooped and swallowed back & forth in the slight wind, mostly in unison, but complete with some energetic contrary birds. Another person arrived at the recycle receptacle and we watched in unity, several swirling swoops of the bohemian rhapsody. Soon this stuck us as newsworthy enough to call our town’s leading photojournalist Col. Kinderhook.

Even though it was deadline evening, the prestigious Colonel picked up immediately, in time for me to pass on another fleeting bird news tip. He asked if they were gaining high sustenance from fermented berries or apples again and I replied that they seemed to be taking in pine nut

The Colonel remarked about how some restless natives, have been giving him a hard time about cherry-picking bird photos from his own backyard feeder. I remarked that his photos are excellent and he should tell the naysayers that he has animal magnetism and that his totem is tweets.

And for the record, I would like to see him tag every first remarkable spring-bird with a date in his digital camera log.

1 comment:

Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

One thing I always love about exploring other geographic areas are the birds you see. After a while, you sort of get used to "your own" local birds, you know? It's fascinating to view birds that live elsewhere. Redwinged blackbirds, bohemian waxwings, and magpies sound pretty exotic from my perspective. Although, no matter where I go, I'm usually most fascinated by ordinary crows.

You've always been an avian-oriented person. As I recall, we spent some time back in VA discussing various bird sounds. Even though it's been 15 or so years, I still remember some of those bird calls -- such as one bird that says "Who cooks for you?"

Here in Pittsburgh, we have a bird that says, "Drink beer." I'm not sure what bird it is, but we always laugh when the drink-beer-bird comes around.