"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Friday, May 09, 2008

Bird World Scandal & Picture Day

Two species of migrant birds returned this week. And it leads me to a suspicion of seasonal wife-swapping

On Tuesday morning, the 6th, I first spotted the male Baltimore oriole. Within minutes, a female rose-breasted grosbeak turned up at the safflower seed feeder.

I checked my records from last year. On May 17th, I first spotted the male Baltimore oriole. On the same day, I had my first sighting of a grosbeak--the female.

Hmmm, thinks, I. Were they travelling together? Two years in a row?

Yesterday morning, for the first time I saw the male grosbeak. Almost simultaneously, I noticed a female oriole siphoning nectar from the oriole feeder.

Coincidence? I can't help but wonder.

Whatever their alternative partnership arrangements, if any, both pairs seem to be united. They visit their respective feeders with the appropriate mate so far as I can tell.

The birds provide a constant swirl of vivid colour: orange orioles, red-black-white grosbeak, golden goldfinch, crimson cardinal, blue jay. A veritable kaleidescope.

Here's a photo of the girls when we're all in birdwatching mode. On this occasion, we were waiting for orioles. As you see, Jewel is serious and attentive, so much so that she disregards the green chew she'd been gnawing. Ruth, as usual, is goofing, more intent on looking cute and scoring a tummy-tickle than tracking our avian visitors.

Our vigil was rewarded. Here are the orioles.

The first hummingbird showed up yesterday, a male.

The Chap spotted two snowshoe hares in the drive early one morning, before I was out of bed. He reports that their bodies are all brown now, but their big feet and bellies are still white.

Yesterday morning (it didn't rain after all) I planted all the many new roses except the one that's being potted up. I shall deal with it today, if I've time to, or tomorrow morning. I weeded a bit and took care of some plant maintenance. The blackflies were out in force...not biting too much, but blood was drawn. Had to resort to tying one of my protective net bags onto my head. It's hot and obscures my vision. And it has holes in it, which the little black buggers eventually discovered. Many Bad Words Were Muttered.

I'm fairly contented with the state of my flower beds. They're looking as well as I can expect. During black fly season I tend not to garden very much, just rush outside with the camera to snap blooms or pick them or both. And this year, thanks to an award-winning film, every time I venture forth from the Lodge I'll be thinking, "There Will Be Blood!" Or not, if I can avoid it.

I had various diocesan meetings in the afternoon into the evening. Another later today. There's a lot going on and I seem to be involved in much of it.

Now some flowers:


Fringed tulip.



Plans for this weekend are nothing short of thrilling. At least to me. My camera is resting up!

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