Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Baker, the Bathers, and the Bathos

I was a college freshman soaked in lovelorndom, nights of Joni Mitchell's "Blue" playing in my dark dorm room, blueberry-scented candles burning.  There was this boy. . . .  My best friend that year (who was much more successful in affairs of the heart) and I wasted lots of time spring semester snipping up magazines for interesting images and odd but meaningful phrases to glue onto boxes and various other small items, and one of the things I "decorated" was a pencil cup which, now faded and tattered, I still have.  Among the bits I found the very apropos (for my situation) line "and spend all day watching out the window for him. . . " and of course it took a place of prominence around the top of the pencil cup.

Well, here we are decades later.

With all the baking I've been doing for the FM, I seem to be continually washing up beaters and bowls, measuring cups and wooden spoons.  It's inefficient to load the dishwasher because I use the same bowls and utensils over and over throughout the day.  My hands are in dishwater a good deal of the time and yes, it's obvious.  Thanks for your concern.

I have a window over my kitchen sink.  Who doesn't?  Mine looks out onto our very countrified farmstead back yard (read: I need to get the weedeater fixed and I need someone to mow my grass), where we have a water tap that evidently leaks underground a bit (another thing I need to get fixed).  The leak has formed a depression around the pipe that stays filled with water, for which I apologize to the people of Third World countries who walk miles every day for a muddy bucketful.  I truly do feel guilty about this.  However: the birds LOVE this puddle.  They congregate around it from midmorning to late in the afternoon.  They get right into the middle of the pool and duck their heads and flap around and get all wet.  They hover over the water and then land in it, pretending to be waterfowl.  They visit like old men at the local cafe, and I suspect they'd play Moon and 42 if they had a set of dominoes and opposable thumbs.  I figure they gossip and tell bird-lies ("And that worm was th-i-i-i-s-s-s long!").  Lately I've had mostly redwinged blackbirds and purple martins (yay!  Take that, mosquitoes!) and grackles, but last month there were four beyond-beautiful jewel-tone indigo buntings -- which in all my years we have not had on this place -- who hung out nearby.  And there are a couple of pairs of cardinals and a few brown thrashers who come around; the mockingbirds drop in occasionally and yesterday I saw a pair of doves.  A killdeer kind of stands to the side of the flock, watching.  We have barn swallows who have made their nest directly over the hood of my car, as they do every year, but they don't frequent the pool, at least not when all the other birds are present.  For a while I had a bluejay who parked on the faucet but I haven't seen him lately.  Where am I going with this?  Well you may ask.  About a week ago I had my hands in the dishwater and looked out through the window and spotted a spectacular bird -- about the size of the killdeer but with a black-and-white speckled body.  He had lengthwise stripes down his head that looked almost like a racing bike helmet.  But his throat and breast:  oh, my!  a brilliant yellow, with a deep black V like Guido's open shirt collar.

Well, of course I had to fly to my bird book and try to identify this glorious creature and so I did:  he's an Eastern Meadowlark.  He's been back just about every day since, and although I have my camera in the kitchen windowsill I haven't been able to photograph him yet, so this is a borrowed image from Wikipedia or the likes, but this is exactly what he looks like.

I'm in love again.  And I'm spending all day watching out the window for him.

1 comment:

  1. I am in love with your blog. I haunt my Google Reader for your latest postings. This one is beautifully done. AND it sounds just like you. PS, I want some dilly bread, too