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.