Tuesday, July 08, 2008

wow summer!

This morning was one of those where you can't breathe or move without sweating. By ten o'clock, though, a nice wind moved through and cleared all that crap away. Now it's a day that would take your breath away. You want to stand in the yard, stare up at the sky, and breathe deeply.

I made pico de gallo this morning. I'm going to make chicken tacos for dinner and Regis is making frijoles. I think I'll call Peter and tell him to pick up his contribution on his way home. And I'm not talking Taco Johns either. This is a meal that cries for an icy cold beer.

I filled the bird feeders this morning. Someone told me the other day that orioles won't eat cheap grape jelly which of course is what I have, believing that birds can't tell the difference. I haven't had an oriole since we went the cheap route. Can this be true? I moved the suet feeders to the back yard where the catbirds can enjoy them. In the front they just attract those nasty grackles.

I love this description of the catbird: A secretive, but curious skulker of dense thickets, the Gray Catbird is heard more than it is seen. Its rambling song contains imitations of other bird songs, but the characteristic "mew" that gives it its name is not an imitation and sounds only vaguely cat-like. First I moved the suet feeder to the step and the catbirds would come in pairs. One would stand guard on the sidewalk while the other one ate. A curious skulker of dense thickets.

Our backyard neighbor, Norm, has planted a dense and wild thicket bordering our yard. It gives us both some privacy and attracts birds like the catbirds. There's a couple bushes that we called bird berries when we were kids and we thought they'd kill you if you ate them. I bet we did and apparently they didn't. Norm's a good neighbor and hasn't done anything to annoy me. I bet he's glad.

I've been thinking of the June bug and the little finches that stay here all winter and the little rabbit who seems to live under the coneflowers in the garden. It's amazing that all those fragile things survive. I was troubled by turtles this year, as always, and I wished I didn't have to see them trudging across the highways. I just heard a bird squabble back in the thicket and I'm sure it's grackles attacking a nest. I walked out there and stood in the grass with my arms crossed and gave them a dirty look. It didn't seem to deter them much.

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