Tuesday, March 17, 2009

washed clean

I'm entering a not-much-time for the internets phase, so blogging here will be erratic for ten days or so. But I will be reading comments--except when I'm out of town for three days at the beginning of next week.


This morning I woke up to a world washed clean by overnight rain. Everything sparkled. There were so many bird singing, flying, drumming, calling, eating while I had breakfast (and mourned the very last issue of the Seattle P-I) that I couldn't keep track.

A flock of tiny warbler-types (I call them hot-needle birds, because their song is so high and sharp it's like hot needles) flitted in and out of the gnarled and still-bare willow in the neighbour's garden. A mental woodpecker drummed on the neighbour's house, clearly thinking that using the house as a sounding board would make him seem huge and mate-worthy. Two robins (oh, those birds are just moronic) hopped from tree-top to tree-top singing their monotonous dee-dee-dee. Two Stellar's jays yelled at them. (The jays are often accompanied by a rather plump, fussy-looking grey squirrel; clearly there's some benefit to this arrangement but I don't know what it is.) Crows wheeled and tilted, dropped and flipped, clearly showing off for each other. And lots of nondescript birds flew this way and then.

After a while I realised two things. They were pairing up: singing to each other, preening, doing acrobatics. It was like Saturday Night Fever in the sky. Then I noticed that they were all flying quite low, which seemed at odds with the bidding for attention. It was at that point that I saw a hawk--a small one, don't know what kind--flitting from bough to bough in the ravine, looking sorta peckish, and thought, Aha, discretion is the better part of valour.

But though the birds kept their exuberance low to ground, the air thrummed with it. Spring really is here. The world is sparkling.

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