Sunday, February 8, 2009

Blood and birds


This morning, back at Winedale, there was fresh blood on the porch railing and a single whitish underfeather on the floor beneath it. A hawk strike? We'll never know for sure. It was directly under the (empty) suet block holder that the squirrel was stretching for in my previous post.

The sight is a reminder, though, that the wonderful tapestry of birdsong we so love to wake to in the mornings denotes something quite different to those who sing. Some sounds of distress are unmistakeable, of course. When a blue jay is upset, the whole world is informed. If he's complaining near the house, the customary cause, I find, derives from snake or hawk--our two great predators of small creatures around here. Reputedly we have bobcats, but I've never seen one. Oh, and owls and coyotes...

The chatter among the trees and underbrush this morning, however, appears to be mainly a clamoring for spring. The weather is mild--66 degrees farenheit--and expected to climb into the high seventies. (A titmouse just turned up his beak at the odd-looking seed my husband has distributed. We're out of sunflower seed and suet. That means a seed-run into Brenham today. Our birds have no loyalty whatsoever. If we don't feed them, they leave.)

The urge for spring is mounting in people, too, culminating in the drive to Plant Something. Even though it's WAY TOO SOON! We've had hard freezes in March on this acreage, we must remember.

Also, and more sadly, our drought continues. This is far from funny, folks. Brown grass we can live with. Even moribund perennials are okay. But I have such fear for our live oaks, in particular the ones around the house that were impacted by the construction last year.

Learning not to grieve in advance over their possible demise is one of my challenges, at present. One youngish live oak away from the house does seem to be flourishing, however, (see photo) and I find that a hopeful sign. Also, as LH points out, the older trees I'm so worried about withstood the awful drought of the 1950s, so they should be fine.

There in a nutshell you see why he's Hale at 87. Attitude, attitude.

9 comments:

jinksy said...

Maybe try a raindance? x

Bdogs said...

Hints for successful rain dances more than welcome!!!

Sydney said...

And the many that did survive Hurricane Ike. I understand your concern though, they are magnificent trees.

PJ's talking2.... said...

I'm concerned about fire. One thoughtless cigrette butt, with all this dead grass... or old timers that just HAVE to burn something... oh, well, I'd be better off worrying about what Richard's cooking for supper... :) ~PJ

Bdogs said...

Oh, boy. Fire. There's a thought for the day. These ideas of burning off your pasture in the spring. I hope nobody is planning on that!

aliceinparis said...

Does Spring not bring rain? I hope things change soon:)

Bdogs said...

Spring USED to bring good rain, as did fall. Now??? (We did have ten minutes of rain this afternoon, though. A harbinger?)Central Texas has been in a bad drought for several years. For a while I thought the hot high sitting above Crawford was responsible...

Ralph W said...

Your husband is a hero to hundreds of us that read his wonderful writings.
Attitude is so important! My 92 year old mom was looking for a certain clothing item. She couldn't find one and said, "Well, winter is almost over. I'll buy one at the first of the season next fall." Always looking forward and always looking at the half full glass keeps her going. A few years ago (less than 10), I asked her why she still kept such a large garden. Her answer was that "A lot of these old folks can't do much for themselves anymore, so I share what I don't need."

It has been awfully dry. I just watered my lawn, the second time in a month. I never remember doing that in Houston before. Our property in Washington County need rain but we are inside the least dry part on the extreme eastern tip. Both places still have some water in creek beds. We have been fortunate compared to those west of Brenham.

antiquedrose said...

Powerful camera work, to contrast the splashed blood with the lively squirrel on a pervious entry.

Keep up the interesting blog!