Oddments

In search of story


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Connections: February 12.18

Icy visage

deck as mirror

transparent message:

winter’s still here.

Encased in numbing

frozen air

the world succumbs

to dark despair.

But wait! What errant

buoy is this?

What harbinger

of warming bliss?

Why does it glower

all grumpy of feather

as though I ordered

this lousy weather?

 

Yes, robins, dear reader! A red-breasted throng of them on the heels of freezing rain. And all frowning. What did they expect? Palm trees?

 

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Musings on wildlife, continued: February 3.18

They announced themselves in Stravinsky-esque blats over my roof. I rushed to the back door, ready to defend my personal homeland.

And there they were, four monuments to stupidity, clearly dumbfounded and trying not to look embarrassed. It’s frozen, you stupid birds! So much for landing with a splash.

They stood still for several minutes, looking around warily. Did anyone see how stupid we are? When they were assured no one was looking, they settled down in concerted effort to melt the ice with the sheer weight of their foie gras. But it didn’t work, so off they waddled to the riches on shore, aka our back yards, desirous of making breakfast of those riches and of leaving their own riches.

And so did they eventually break through the ice and paddle near me with all deliberateness, eyeing the smorgasbord they thought I had prepared for them.

I have begun to take their brassiness personally. The nerve. Trespassing on my quiet and on my grass. The sound of the amateur French horn is such a match for their manners. I am quite sure at this point that they have their cold beady little eyes trained on me and my house, assessing my defenses.

New home: new world — yes, dear reader?

 

 

 

 


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Musings on wild life: February 1.18

Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit!

That, as you may remember, was my mother’s incantation on the first of every month. I’m not sure why except for the twelve rabbits’ feet involved.

I am not enamored of rabbits, as you know if you’ve read my blog for a while. They are the garden’s Visigoths and nothing can withstand their onslaught. Here, in the wee hours of one winter morning, by the light of the lamppost, I spotted one of their kind. It was huge. And obviously reconnoitering. Duly noted, you furry pig!

I am equally not enamored of Canadian geese, as you also know from my blog. They, however, are enamored of this retention pond. Why Mother Nature, who came up with the song of the lark and the wren, invented the honk of the goose is explainable only in terms of her caustic sense of humor.

Then, of course, the ants. Oh, they keep on a-comin’. At first in my desk. Now along the baseboard and up through the furnace vent in the dining room. Yesterday I was out in the cold mud dousing the side of my new house with Home Defense. In January? Really?

Having lived in California, I know about ants, which there put earthquakes to shame in terms of intimidation. They come like an undertow and pull you to your knees.

But this is Indiana, which, though definitely ant-ridden, usually doesn’t let the little rotters out mid-winter.

And have you ever noticed how observing ants can make you itch?

Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, dear reader!

 


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Connections: December 25.17

Christmas Eve

the veil fell;

on webbed tiptoe

two ducks attended,

thickening the silence.

Christmas wrap

of folded wing

nodding branch

satin of still water —

in such small space

so vast a peace.

 

 

Wishing you a moment of peace, dear reader, in the traditions you hold dear.

 

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Connections: November 22.17

With apologies to Laura Ingalls Wilder, I have dubbed my new home The Little House on the Retention Pond. This is the view from my back door. The previous owner graciously left her swing.

I use the word “home” guardedly. It isn’t home yet. But I am doing the first thing to make it a home: bubbling celery and onion in butter, and simmering giblets. Ah, stuffing.

When I first visited this place and saw the retention pond, my immediate thought was ICK. My second thought was MOSQUITOES! Third, maybe I should see the inside.

But once I’d been glared at by herons and snubbed by ducks, I began to feel I’d been hasty. And once I saw the reflections of the neighbors’ lights at night and the reflections of the day’s lights at dawn, I felt I owed the pond an apology. This little drop of water knows how to throw light around. And I’m a sucker for anything that sparkles.

I don’t know yet if my family will be here for Thanksgiving. What I do know is that I will have turkey and stuffing. And, if I can find the can opener (so far, no luck), I will have canned cranberry sauce. If my family comes, they will bring assorted side dishes which will be served atop festive packing boxes, artfully arranged. The shining water outside will be nicely echoed by the shining plastic drop cloths inside, the ultimate in gracious slip-and-trip living.

Meanwhile, I intend that reflecting is something we will do together, the pond and I.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear reader, from The Little House on The Retention Pond!


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Connections: October 28.17

The hen with the turquoise tail

and watchful ruby eye

busily bustles about

in no way subtle or shy.

Incredulous, unbelieving,

clucking at all she sees

hustling up and down stairs

with never an if-you-please,

she gathers each mote of gossip

slack-jawed, open-beaked,

around and about the condos

astonished and endlessly piqued.

 

 

More thanks to the S.W. Berg photo archives,

and to the D.J. Berg store of whimsy.

 

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