Sunday, June 3, 2007


Life is contagious. That's a good thing, generally speaking. But it is a contagion... I've been idly wondering how it works.

But think about it... the miracle of a body learning how to function from another body. A child forming from a union of cells, but more than that... the strange fact that it will probably know how to simply be alive, heart pumping and lungs inflating and deflating and cells moving oxygen and energy and who knows what. Holy. Cow.

We did a picnic yesterday with our friends, who have a 3-year-old. Camped on a blanket under a wind-gnarled eucalyptus tree festooned with long leaves, some of them as broad as my hand, and sworled strips of its own peeled bark, I listened to frogs and shallow surf, and breeze through bushes and eucalyptus stands, and smelled the bituminous salt of my beloved Pacific in the sampire grasses, and watched brown pelicans and marbled godwits and sparrows and a 3-year-old human. It was cool and foggy and the hills and city across the (incredibly shallow) bay looked like something out of a movie, fake, a matte painting. Vegetarian food (very eclectic... spanning from fake ham and cheese on wheat to marinated eggplant to sushi rolls stuffed with cream cheese and cucumber to home picked blackberries from our friends' yard) and tree climbing. And laugh at the graffiti of the ejaculating penis on the tree, and please dear God don't touch the semen-stained cheap blanket tucked up in the branches, thinking it is a garment of your friends. Dammit, some forms of contagious life ought not to be shared... I suppose the spray painted "KEEP OUT" on the thickest bole of the tree should have warned me. Thank goodness for alcohol gel... plentifully and immediately. Shh, yes it does, yes it DOES work. La la la la, can't hear you, la la la.

At home, today. I have so much to do. I elected to pick what would make me happy, and did my chores, and fed the birds. Again, the teeming magnificence of life. We have a wealth of young birds coming to our backyard to be fed. Young goldfinches, woodpeckers, scrub jays, and what we expected the most... ducks.

There are seven baby ducks coming to our cafeteria. Three "half ducks" that are almost-grown and starting to feather up, and four itty beige and brown peeps. They are gorgeous.

We went out tonight to fill the thistle sock and seed feeder, to put out new blocks of suet, and to feed the ducks. A beaver pulled down a sapling and dragged it into the creek not far from our house (and me without flood insurance... I begin to worry.) Sir Max-a-Lot and Duckira, the highly recognizable and ubiquitous domestic/mallard hybrids that come to greet our car with begging expressions every evening, mobbed us and made their little "wheepling" noises until we gave them a big scoop of hen scratch. Mama-Duck and her four littles came to eat, and she lowered her head and charged impressively at Enemy Duck and Enemy Duck's Mottled Mate every time they came to eat, ignoring all others. Runty the Half Duck came and hoovered up as much scratch as she could. Her speculum (the white and blue patch on a mallard's wing) is starting to show and she looks a little less runty than heretofore.

Pat took pictures of the goldfinches and woodpeckers and Scrubbles sat on our plastic picnic table and grabbed peanuts by the twos and threes, preparing to bury them in the bark that now comprises most of our front yard (bark shreddies, with weird oases of tall grasses and flowers... our landscaper's weird idea and it looks wonderful, except that it is pocked with peanuts.)

I cleaned my fridge out. It had contained strawberries and peaches gone very syrupy and embellished with green fuzzy things. Definitely not good eats, as Alton Brown would put it.

All my laundry is done.

How was your weekend?

1 comment:

Robert Link said...

I spend too much of my time in political wrangling on a political blog. No ducks. Sounds like quite the menagerie you kids have inherited with the house.

I did get my first fig of the season off our little tree, and learned in the process that I am not watering it enough, because the fruit was dry and bland. Still, figs, baby, figs. Here's a fig poem I wrote last year. Not sure what proper protocol is, to link, to cut-and-paste on this comment, both? For now it's just the link. The as yet not entirely codified rules of social etiquette in the ever shifting landscape of mediated communication will have to be saved for later.