Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Gray Day


Hey look at that, some of the wet stuff! We’re about 7-8 inches behind on rain so this was good. It rather fits my dark mood today, with not much happening except for growling thunder and periodic rain squalls. Work is slow. The toads got flooded out of their burrows and are hopping around everywhere – I’m sure much more productive than me today. But a ton of work is coming and sometimes a personal sanity day is a good thing. So here I sit, hearing distant rumbles, wondering if another storm is headed my way. When the thunder wanes, you can hear the surf and the birds again.

That bush in the foreground has a real name I can’t remember it so it is the Brazilian Shit-wood Bush, as it is an invasive species related to poison ivy. It is starting to make buds and soon will be covered in tiny white flowers, which would become little orange berries. The hummingbirds roost there, along with the toads, maybe a possum, and hopefully our lost iguana. Butterflies love it but for some reason, very few seen today. For a while we had some yellow-bellied flickers in there but I think they migrated on to better pastures. My gardener friend tells me the birds get drunk on the rotting Brazilian shit-wood berries and it is quite a riot to watch later in the season. It might be a junky plant but is sure hosts a heck of a cast & crew!

Yes, the birds are busy now, fattening up for the fall. Purple martins dash around at invisible bugs at break-neck speed. Grackles feed in the flooded grass like pigs in tuxedos and the seagulls police the street for stuff the garbage man missed. More hummingbirds arrived. Two mockingbirds work the backyard, a little darker and less aggressive than the ones I remember from Austin; at least they don’t dive-bomb the cat.

The sun comes out for a brief moment, causing the cicadas to make their obnoxious noise, like a teenager’s cell phone. Another thunderstorm cell announces itself loudly and all the birds fly away. A giant heron yelps and flies over the water like a B-52 bomber, with mullet and baitfish jumping in its temporary shadow. It is quite a show.

3 comments:

Jeff & Angela said...

Sounds like a beautiful day of enjoying what the good Lord has given us.

Everett said...

Hi Sam, I've been a bird watcher all my life and had one of the greatest ornitholigists of all time as a teacher. Her name was Elizabeth Dickens, and she was born, raised, and never left the Island. She was self taught but was probably more educated than most college grads. Anyway your above description of the birds and bushes just gave me one of those,"deja-vu all over again" feelings. I sit here with my laptop in my lap, of all places, watching the antics of the black-capped chickadees on my back porch, and it is a very relaxing thing.
Rain? What's THAT stuff? We have had a grand total of about 3-4 inches by my rain meter for the entire summer and late spring! Everything that is usually green has been brown for at least a month. I love a rainy day 'cause it means I can stay in the house writing or working on ANOTHER model plane without feeling guilty about it. If it is not raining or snowing, I feel I HAVE to be outside the house! At least for few hours. We are all going to be dead for a long time, so I go out and sniff the roses, salt air, hot roads, and new cut grass as much as possible. Even the smell of the burned jet fuel from the turbo prop planes at the airport hold an attraction for me as it reminds me of the halcyon days of my youth on board a USN aircraft carrier. BTW, I at first thought that the name of your shit-bush was a denegration of my favorite sitting President till I read it the second time! You be a goodboy and no badmouthing W! TIFN

Sam said...

I recall the "bird lady" very well, Everett, although she was somewhat of a recluse. All those notes!