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June 8th, 2008 - Weather, Or Not — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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June 8th, 2008

Lengthening Dusk [Jun. 8th, 2008|04:20 pm]
A few afternoons ago I found a baby bird dead on the front walk. It was large but still featherless, so must have been of a good-sized species. I thought at first it might have fallen from a nest in the adjacent bush, but inspection revealed no nest— and the parents would probably have been too large to comfortably use a nest in a bush only three feet across, in any case. I was going to dispose of the cadaver, but had to go back indoors for something, and when I returned in the dusky evening the bird was gone.

I've speculated on the cause of the bird's demise, but have no idea what actually happened. For a while I thought perhaps it had been stolen from its nest by one of the stray cats, but I doubt a cat would have left it lying there (unless it was meant as a gift for me, of course, but that's unlikely.) Another possibility is that it was stolen from its nest by a crow, a species known for raiding the nests of other birds. A crow under attack by blue jays might have dropped the hatchling before getting a chance to eat it or tear it to pieces to feed to its own chicks.

It's a puzzle, anyway. But however the corpse ended up on my doorstep, it was probably taken away by one of the stray cats. If a kitty ate it, I hope it doesn't get bird flu.

Happier bird news is that the hummingbirds are enjoying the abundant jasmine blossoms which are now perfuming the back yard. All afternoon the birds come and go, hovering at one flower after another until they've had their fill of the nectar. They've probably got a month of feasting ahead of them, as the jasmine usually blooms for about six weeks.

They might not have many days as pleasant as this was, though. Despite some warming, there is not yet the oppressive heat the later days of June are apt to bring. All day, swirls of cirrus clouds graced the sky, and the leaves were stirred by the gentlest of breezes. Half an hour passed in the shade of the walnut tree, inhaling the fragrance of jasmine, was enough to put me in a splendid mood that will probably last the night. Now the crescent moon shines in a sky still pale with day's afterglow. It's a perfect evening for watching the stars emerge.

Sunday VerseCollapse )
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