Thursday, February 3, 2011

Miscellaneous Meander

A couple of these guys come to my seedy bird feeder.  They hang from the ledge and throw seeds far and wide.  It appears they are pulling a Blue Jay Trick, as the Jay gets all disturbed and tries to chase them off.  They make much noise, and move into the tree above and just wait their turn, and swoop down to swing and rock the sunnies into their bills.  Really, a woodpecker is not a nice bird.  Neither are Jays, I guess.

The bird world fascinates me.  I have annoyed many a walking partner with my gasps, "OH! There's a blah-dee-dah!"  Maybe the gasp is what's annoying, as it may sound as if there is immanent danger, like a rattlesnake or something.  In my defence (hahah) I did spot a baby rattlesnake from a good distance before we got to it, so I have saved my own (and my partner's) life.  A time or two, I might add.  Yes.  Maybe next time I will tell you about those escapades.

OK.  That makes me think of another Dad-Story:  He and I were hauling a wild heifer (oh Goddess, I am cracking my own self up) in our International Truck with the racks on, because she had gotten through fences, etc., and was next door at Harry's.  So, we went and got her.  Understand, this journey was all of a half-mile away.  She was loaded, the tail-gate secure, and off we go, slowly because this heifer really had lost her mind.  She was bellowing and lunging and kicking.  We crept out onto the highway, limped and swayed to our turn-off and lane, and just as we rounded the mailboxes, she decided to blow the scene.  I kid you not.  That Jersey heifer decided to launch herself over the racks.

Yes.  I decided to leave as well, flung open the door.  Dad hollered, "Jesus Christ!" and grabbed my arm, dragging me back into the cab.  "You could get killed doing that!  Stay!"  That may have been the first time that I doubted him, that he could and would control any danger near me.  It seemed obvious, that the smartest thing to do would be to get outta Dodge.  We hunkered down, kind of under the dashboard, wrapped around the gear shift with the clear blue acrylic knob that Bob had made in shop. The heifer fell over the side, got up, and trotted down the lane towards the barn.  Like that was her intention, all along.

 My GrandGirls were over after school this week.  "Sorry," I said, "I didn't finish the dishes or sweep the floor OR make the bed today..."  That's okay, Nonnie, WE don't care!  Music to mine ears.  I have been told a number of times that they like my house, just like it is, whenever they get here.  Sometimes it is in better condition than others.

First things first:  Food!  This one has gotten so tall that it is remarkable just how much she can put away.  Just an inch or so to go, and she is going to be taller than I am.  Yes, I remember her at 2 years, walking ahead of me on a path at the Elementary School.  She decided to ditch the Nonnie, turned to me and commanded in her most authoritative voice, "Sit Nonnie.  STAY!" and off she went.  Is this a thread?

Our Mission is to do some painting and art lessons.  This day I suggested that we take a walk for "inspiration," to which they whole-heartedly agreed.  After the meal/snack, we headed for the River.  We walked down our lane, past the neighbor geese, and through the fence, past the No Trespassing Sign, and through another fence into the vineyard (Keep OUT), and up onto the levee.  "What's a levee?" Mary wanted to know.  Isn't this fun?  Air, biology, geography, engineering and who-knows-what-all is discussed on these adventures.  The willows are busting out to green.  The river looked like it was playing, throwing up its flippers all asparkle.

I heard one of my favorite whistles, just barely.  Turned and searched the leafless Cottonwoods and Alders.  AH!  Right there, was the Osprey, harassing their abject enemy, The Bald Eagle, who was hunched up and ducking.  "The Bald Eagle is our State Bird, right Nonnie?"  It was the first time that they've ever seen our National Bird, right here on our Rushing River.

Weirdly enough, we also found, just yards upstream from us, a wild boar carcass.  Another biology lesson, since there were fascinating maggots squirming all over the place.  They were not mortified or horrified:  they were curious.

We re-learned how to find and throw skipping rocks, a yearly endeavor.  As the sun dipped behind the hills, the air began to cool immediately.  Our heads were in the warm breeze and everything below shoulder height was cold, a very odd sensation.

Being a Nonnie is an adventure.  It is the most bestest thing "to be" ever invented.  And that's the truth.

Very sweet.  Interesting.  Curious.
Next time, we're doing some art.


N2 said...

Those Grrrlls are beautiful and so are you! What great mentoring you are doing with them, in art, in life. Love the picture of the hummer shadow on the sky. xo N2

Merry ME said...

It all sounds quite wonderful!
Well, except for the maggots. Gross!

Elizabeth said...

You sound like a fantastic grandmother -- and your grandgirls are gorgeous!

pamieli said...

I feel as though I got to be there too... another of the grandkids adventuring with Nonnie. Thanks!

Bethany said...

sweet stuff.
love the walk with your girls.
great last shot too.

LindyLouMac said...

Great story and love the strong blue sky always cheering.

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