SPRING HAS SPRUNG, THE GRASS HAS RIZ. I WONDER WHERE THE FLOWERS IS? – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Friday: SPRING

The birdies are blooming in breeding colors and there are buds (but no leaves or flowers) on bushes and trees. What is up really?

Bugs are up. Ants are up. Birds are nesting and beginning to breed. The temperature is finally swinging around and while we will get some more cold days and night, we aren’t going to get a long month of deep freeze weather … or at least so we hope.

Back from the south, Carolina Wren

I’m waiting for a flower to appear outside. We have giant amounts of forsythia, but they don’t bloom much because they are at the edge of the woods and there’s very little sunlight there. A lot of our bushes bloom very late and some no longer bloom.

Nuthatch who never gets dizzy upside-down!
Our fearless deck squirrel
My personal favorite odd couple …

The winds of winter took down a lot of trees and I’m pretty sure our giant lilac tree has finally been squashed flat. It had taken several hits before, but I think this year, it’s a goner. I would like to be wrong. I guess I’ll know soon enough. At least by the middle of May, if not sooner.

Another odd couple — Carolina Wren and Goldfinch
Down the trees stalks the Nuthatch

Our Carolina Wrens are back and the Goldfinch have turned bright yellow and gold. Young squirrels have come up and hanging around for hours, picking up pieces of seeds that have fallen from the feeders.

Bright little birds!
Red and yellow, oh my! Better than flowers!

It is not quite springtime in the Valley as it is in other areas, but for this part of the world?

Maybe not flowers, but definitely colorful!

This is spring. Or kind of springlike. More or less springish. We are working on it.

I wonder where the flowers is?

A NEW BEAK IN TOWN – Marilyn Armstrong

A NEW BEAK CAME TO TOWN A FEW DAYS AGO

I saw him at the feeder on Monday. “That’s a new kid,” I announced, but of course I didn’t get a picture because I wasn’t holding the camera. Just watching the birdies flutter about.

This morning, I heard the call. The wild call of the Carolina Wren. He has the loudest call of any bird of that size, which is smaller than a Robin, but bigger than a Finch.

You can’t miss the call. You can hear it through closed windows and doors. This time, I heard it in the living room … and the sound was coming from the backyard. I went back there, missed him, but while I was standing there with my camera in my hand, staring at the empty feeder, who should land but the aforementioned and previously heard, Carolina Wren.

The Carolina Wren and his little yellow Goldfinch pal

As I was reading up on this little wren, there was a lot of commentary on how these migratory birds have largely stopped migrating. Partly, because of climate change and alterations to their environment, but even more because of …

me.

Squared. with pointed beak — Carolina Wren

People with feeders have dramatically changed the migration of birds. Whereas they used to fly to the tropics, many just fly down to like … Maryland or New Jersey … and now, many are not bothering to migrate at all.

I read an exchange between someone in South Carolina bemoaning her lack of Carolina Wrens and was answered by someone in Michigan who said, “Well, we just got a foot of snow and they are happily eating at my feeder on the porch!”

The last of the square pictures. Some of the shots just did NOT want to be square, not without losing a piece of wing or tail …

We feeder owners are supposed to report seeing birds showing up where they should not be … and especially if they seem to be suffering from an ailment.

VISITOR FROM A STRANGE PLANET – Marilyn Armstrong

It doesn’t take much to feel like a visitor from a foreign planet. Humans are good at making anyone even a little bit different feel like an alien. So I look at myself and realize I’m an anachronism. A stranger in a place that was once my home.

My body is a great place to start. It is rebuilt, an imitation of a human body. Fake breasts with no nipples. Replacement parts all over the place. Missing internal organs. No belly button.

Yet nothing makes me feel more out of time and place than reading posts on Facebook. The inability of average people to use grammar, to write in full sentences, to understand that “loose” and “lose” aren’t the same word. This leaves me feeling as if I have been inter-dimensionally transported to “The Planet Without Grammar.” Forget typos. I get that. We all make mistakes and usually know it. How often I have wished I could go back and correct them.

No, I’m talking about all the millions of people who don’t even know they are doing something wrong because they never knew their own language in the first place.

Then there’s music. I sound like every member of every older generation throughout history, but this didn’t start when I became a senior. It started when I was a music student and had to listen to 12-tone music. That was music?  It sounds like Tom cats locked in a trash can. Howling, banging, shrieks, crashing, thumping. No rhythm. No melody. Just noise.

I can get into a rhythm without melody. I can enjoy a  melody without rhythm. When you remove both?

What, exactly, makes it music? Please, someone, explain.

Where do noise and music part company? My inability as a young music student to grasp what it was about these sounds that made them admirable as music signaled a lifetime of “not getting it.” Whatever “it” has been.

There are so many things I don’t get. Politics. Ignorance. Movies without scripts. Books without plots. Published authors without talent. Voluntary illiteracy. An international lack of compassion for the poor and needy. Environmental destruction for short-term goals which will have permanent and devastating planet-wide repercussions. Genocide.

And the old standby, stupidity.

When I said I’m an anachronism, I wasn’t kidding. I am. Daily I grow worse.

LINED UP AND READY TO GO! – Marilyn Armstrong

A Photo a Week Challenge:
Getting Your Ducks in a Row

Around here, geese and ducks and often swans have a strong tendency to line up. If you’re using a long lens, this can be a problem. If there are a lot of geese or ducks or swans, you can’t get them all!

Geese lined up n a green river
Cygnets lined up
Mom and cygnets
Ducks lined up and human legs in a line – Boston Commons
The Christmas parade, getting organized