Nonfiction stories dealing with surviving harsh rural winters appeal to me — a peculiar penchant.
I also have an affinity for the music of Russian composers, eg. Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Mussorgsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich.
Chopin, too, is a favorite, and he’s from Poland — right up there, along with Schumann, a German.
The Bird Man is on the move. He’s wearing a sweat jacket and a ball cap because it’s cold. It’s 38 degrees this morning, and typically, such as during summer, the Bird Man will wear only an old white T-shirt that you and I might demote to rag status, as well as jeans that no longer can stay put around his pot belly.
Today the Bird Man looks more dressed up than usual due to his navy blue jacket. It seems to be in fine condition and looks warm.
The Bird Man is removing the rocks from the small plastic Tupperware lining his cement wall like battlements. He is emptying the backwash and refilling the vessels with a cheap plastic pitcher of water. Continue reading
Everything colorful was gone from the woman’s flower beds, despite all her ardent work. The summer just wouldn’t allow anything other than perennial green now.
Listening to Chopin’s tender Nocturnes as dusk descended, I gazed into her yard at a wheelbarrow holding slender planks of oak she had acquired for a trellis. A large ceramic pot sat hollow inside the wheelbarrow belly, along with smaller plastic pots — summer casualties, all lumped together and parked in the shadow of an awning.
The butterfly was not a butterfly but two fallen leaves.
I had been seeing butterflies a lot lately, and so I thought this was yet another encounter.
Recently my local Cooperative Extension made an announcement on Facebook that there was an uptick in the insects’ numbers in the Las Vegas area. Now I wish I had read it.
I wondered if it had something to do with climate change, although the Extension had an optimistic tone in sharing the news. Continue reading
This photo I took yesterday in Kyle Canyon, Nevada, reminds me of Close Encounters.
Illustration by Laszlo Layton.
Lately I’ve become quite the nature aficionado, specifically regarding the flora & fauna in my community. The other day I spotted 2 great-tailed grackles trading courtship calls from polar opposite ends of a Washoe pine. I thought it quite amusing since these are raucous birds with shrill cries, obscenely long beaks for their body size & all-around abrupt behavior. Yet here was this would-be couple acting like reticent teenagers at a high school prom, having eyes for each other from across the gym floor, wondering if they’d be able to share a dance before the final song.