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Thursday, August 21, 2003

How tiny are the bushtits? Ten of them will fit in and on the birdbath at one time, with no pushing or shoving. They really play well together, and the always come and go in flocks of fifteen to twenty. It's highly organized chaos whenever they're in the yard, and it was fun to see them splashing each other.

The bushtits had already nearly emptied out the birdbath bowl when a couple of sparrows came along and chased them away. I could still hear them chattering from the trees. They didn't seem to be complaining, but I don't think much of anything bothers them. It's all a big game to them.

A little while later the bushtits moved on. There might be some kind of order to the way they fly, but to me it looks as if they're bouncing off the air currents, skipping and hopping along in disorderly formation. For some reason, they remind me of musical notes on a scale. There's a meaning to them, but you have to understand the language.

I didn't get the garden watered this afternoon because the Little League World Series game ended just before the Giants game started. There wasn't time, but I thought it might get a little natural watering anyway. The clouds had been coming and going all day, threatening to open up and deliver. Then late in the day I saw a big, wide, bright bolt of lightning, shooting vertically through the eastern sky.

There never was any rain, but we got a wonderful sunset out of the sculpted, lopsided configuration of the clouds. I kept walking out and looking toward the west, trying to get my camera pointed in the right direction at the right time, but the sun didn't seem to be moving. Then boom! (Or sizzle! Or whatever it says.) There was this incredible explosion of color.

21 August 2003

This doesn't do justice to the real thing.

I'm glad the glorious sunset didn't happen while I was icing my arm. I'm not sure what's wrong, but it came up all of a sudden this afternoon, this sharp pain in my left upper arm. I had to call Mom to remind me whether to take ibuprofen or acetaminophen. You know, Advil or Tylenol (the answer was Aleve, which I don't have). The thing that helped the most was the bag of frozen peas that I pressed into the muscle the rest of the night, ten minutes at a time.

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Just after dark there was an amazing light show in the eastern sky. The lightning was far enough away that there was no thunder, as there had been earlier. To me, that made it even more beautiful, flash after flash of brilliance in the pitch black distance. I sat in my living room with no lights on, just watching and marveling.

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One year ago: Matinee
"By the end of the play, it didn't seem so alien any more."

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