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May 31, 2014

Maybe in May

The torrential rains of May have turned the mountains into something closely akin to the rain forests of the Pacific Northwest. Western Oregon dreams they were as green as this. The rain forests of Costa Rica pale in comparison...

In May, the ravens come into the meadows, calling out loudly. Warning the crows to stay away. Defending the valley.

At last, even the lowly Scrub Oaks push forth a coat of lime green leaves. An offering to the Gods of Spring.

The dandelions bloom and it's been so long since I sprayed them that I can't even remember what I used to spray on them.

The Mountain Lilacs bloom purple and somehow, I'd forgotten what the blooms even looked like. Last year I missed them, wandering around down in Central America.

It's funny how memories fade.

Hummingbird dogfights, and now, they're chasing off those peculiar moths that act like hummingbirds, but somehow aren't. Somehow, they're not even distant relatives. One is a bird, and one is an insect, but they behave much the same. And you could be forgiven for mistaking the two.

Everyone see what they want to see. The evolutionist says "Aha...Evolution is real." And the Christians say "Aha...Here is the hand of God, if ever anyone ever doubted his existence." Both observe the same phenomena, both are more resolute in their convictions, and both are right.

The birds have already paired up, built nests, and laid eggs in the blue bird houses. These birds don't come to the feeders though. Western Bluebirds and Mountain Bluebirds won't come to a seed feeder unless you put meal worms in it, or something they like. They certainly won't eat sunflower seeds.

And I see these birds, flying through our meadows. And each year, I see forget some of the birds so that, when I see them, I know that I know them, but can't think of their names. Why is that? Why would the brain store the awareness of the bird in one place, and the name in another place? Like..."Oh...shoot....I know what that bird is...let me think of the name of it..." and then the brain searches around and either comes up with a name or it doesn't. It's a bizarre situation, really. It would seem to make more sense to store the awareness of the bird and the bird's taxonomy all in the same location. But who am I to question the design of an instrument we can barely comprehend?

Every year, we lose bird houses to the elements. The posts rot or the houses fall apart. The winters are hard on them, it seems. The years scroll past, and everyone slowly collapses, but somehow the trees and the grasses regrow every year. Why is it that we can't learn from nature? Why can't we build structures that repair themselves? A tree loses a branch, and it grows a new one in the exact same place.

But if the gutters fall off your house, they don't grow back. Why is that?

The Hummingbirds dogfight furiously into the Mountain Lilac, flying through the boughs of the plant so recklessly that Wallie decides to join into the fray, climbing up into the thin Lilac branches, bent on attacking the birds that have lost all awareness of their surroundings, as they clash, violently smashing through the tangled mass of branches in the Lilac bush. Wallie falls out and the birds escape somehow. I try to take some pictures of the fracas, but nothing would do it justice, really. Imagine being deathly afraid of a bird so small it could fit in your shirt pocket and you start to get some idea of the ferocity of these battles.

How is it not raining today? It's a miracle. Yesterday, I drove home in a blinding rainstorm. Today, the sky is sunny and clear, but with bright puffy clouds in a deep blue sky. Maybe it won't rain today. Only we can hope.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 31, 2014 at 10:32 AM


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