Monday, May 2, 2011


There was a hard frost last night.  The marsh below the berm which protects us from the Crooked River turned white.  Rooftops looked like it snowed during the night.

This is not unusual.  Last year I placed cardboard boxes over 20 tomato plants to protect them from damage.  It was after the last average frost date of May 10th. On the NWS last average frost graph, there's a long lobe, like my uvula-
 (The uvula is the conic projection from the posterior edge of the middle of the soft palate, composed of connective tissue containing a number of racemose glands)
 which extends from Eau Claire southward to the Driftless region.  A racemose of inhospitable weather.

It's been proven that birds follow migratory patterns based upon a number of factors, some of which are the changing tilt of the earth, gravity and magnetic force.There's a better explanation, but the link I made didn't work, even after several attempts.  The slinky, blond ornithologist I had an affair with in between marriage#1 and #3 said they placed a bird in a paper cone in a windowless room and did something to its feet or to the cone to mark the patterns the bird makes trying to get out. You can Google migratory patterns.   I know this isn't a scientific explanation, but bear with me. I'm just a farmer. What you I know?

My conic projections involve looking out the kitchen window. I do that quite a bit each day because the kitchen sink is under the kitchen window, as opposed to say, under my office window.  Each year I'll catch a glimpse of a hummer hovering in the corner by the window.  If I were a cartoonist or possessed a glib sense of humor, I'd make up something funny coming from the bird, like "Where's the sweet?" 

I race to the entryway closet, look for the suction-cup window hook and the feeder without broken perches and quickly fill it with sweet nectar.  From that moment until the end of summer which is determined by the hummingbird exit from our area, not the calendar, I'll repeat the process.  In the height of the nesting season, I'll hang three feeders which I refill daily.  In my workshop I have  hummingbird nests blown from the trees during storms stashed in a coffee can. Most are made from the neighbor's horsehair.  The nests and my chicken wishbones will be turned into a work of art. It may be based on last night's dream:.  I'm in the basement and a 'dumb cluck' knocks over one of the supporting jacks under the ancient floor beams.  I barely escape through a basement window. I think my subconscious is trying to contact me and is getting a busy signal.

There have been no hummers knocking at our back door. Or, hovering by the kitchen window.  This is why half of my organic gardens lie fallow.

self portrait ca. 1999


T. Roger Thomas said...

Recently installed an oriole feeder, which has been fun to keep an eye on

Gavrillo said...

Good for you. I caught a glimpse of an oriole at our empty bird feeder. My first thought-rush inside, slice an orange, scoop out the innards and fill with grape jelly. The last time the orange sat for months attracting wasps. Next to Rufous Towhees, they are the most colorful bird in our area. The picture of Mr.Wizard on your post brought back pleasant memories.