Wednesday, January 23, 2013

This Year's Birthday Gift

Each year on my birthday I am sent a fabulous bird, so I get up early and wait for it. I know northern migration has begun because the Yellow-Shafted Flicker appeared last week, which was earlier than usual, but I haven't yet seen my Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, who sometimes is my birthday gift. Instead appeared the Master of the Woods, the Pileated Woodpecker, screaming and enjoying suet (pictured) and pecking on the old TV aerial because it makes an exciting noise like mallets on metal (that reverberates throughout my house). Some mornings if the suet isn't there when he wants it, he's my alarm clock. Wow, do I ever have serious problems! Lucky me!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

$10 Ultra Wash

Drive-through car washes are a seasonal treat because in warmer weather I wash my own. This is the car wash I usually patronize in winter, a sort of skin tag attached to the nearest gas station, but it's not the old ordinary steamy and soapy tiled shower anymore; somehow they've invented psychedelic multicolored car soap, and made red tornadoes out of the whirling sponge whips; and just sitting caged while this dance of the seven veils engulfed my car, and me in it, like, blew my mind, man. And the car (she's pearly white; when she was new I called her "The Bride," and now, after six and a half years, she's "My Wife"; I don't go anywhere without her) is spectacularly clean and glossy after this, the $10 Ultra Wash with Bottom Blast, which was much more worth my $10 than the recent remake of Anna Karenina. You know, sometimes the Midwest can be all right.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Dates or Mates?

Red-tailed hawks mate for life, but seldom do mated pairs share the same tree or same branch like the pair I saw today; usually they're seen separately, each fiercely defending one end of their jointly owned territory. New pairs of red-tailed hawks build their nests starting in January, so this might be a courting pair. When hawks date, they fly together and hunt together. When they're mated, he feeds her while she's incubating eggs, and when the babies come they both feed their chicks.

The Divine acreage is definitely raptor territory. Mice and other live edibles dwell in the meadow and I've also found evidence of attacks on turtles and songbirds, and the people who lived here before me told me sadly that their cat had a single kitten and while they were outside a hawk swooped down and snatched the kitten. Sad, but that's nature. I've also heard one rabbit death-scream. It was unearthly and I never want to hear one again.

Friday, January 4, 2013

God Bless 2013

In the U.S. "prayer" has become the all-purpose substitute for actually doing anything. "Pray" for our soldiers -- don't, like, actually work at the USO or protest the war they shouldn't be fighting in the first place. "Pray" for the hungry or homeless -- but don't let them hang around here, and get those Salvation Army bell-ringers out of our face, and no, I don't want to volunteer once a week to drive for Meals on Wheels because there might be slippery roads. Prayer is powerful, and at least it doesn't kill anybody, but from looking at the Bible I think it's supposed to be a supplement for doing good, not the actual do-gooding itself.

In other news, 2013 is the first year since 1987 that a New Year has had 4 different numerals. Happy New Year!