bunt sign

Thursday, May 3, 2001

The Boss has been on the road all week. I haven't heard from him, which would be okay except that I have messages to give him. It's been a mellow time, and today I hit the sweet spot of mellowness.

It was still windy this morning, but by late this afternoon the wind had died and left a perfect day behind. I had no desire (and little incentive) to stay at the computer churning out spreadsheets when I could walk out into a day like this. It was impossible not to indulge myself in a little spring fever.

When I left to run my errands, I wanted to keep going. I almost decided to drop everything and head across town to Howarth Park and take a walk around the lake. I definitely wouldn't have missed any important phone calls. Nothing seemed important enough to keep me working today.

But when I got home, I didn't want to leave again. I just wanted to enjoy my yard, and the trees, and even the gopher tunneling through, surfacing every so often.

As a token to my conscience, I did get at those spreadsheets. But it was a half-hearted effort at best, and I didn't force myself to hew to the work ethic. Days like this just don't come along often enough. If they did, they wouldn't be as special, and I'd go ahead and work.

When David dropped by this afternoon to use my copier, I was already sitting on the porch with a book in my lap. I wasn't reading, though. I was watching the baby birds.

The black phoebes that nested under the eave have given way to the next generation. The two little ones are out and flying, although they aren't venturing far from home base just yet. I think this was their first day out, but I know it was the first time I've had a close enough look to identify them as fledglings. Their markings are less pronounced than the adults', spotted almost like fawns in the forest.

While my nephew and I sat there marveling at the beauty of Northern California in early May, we watched these two young birds try their wings. They would swoop down just below the ground and pick up insects without touching down. We saw one of them pick a butterfly out of the air, so I guess we don't have to worry about their ability to feed themselves.

They did seem confused, though, looking up at the nest and circling up and around it, without ever going back inside. Neither has left the yard yet, and I didn't see a sign of the parents at all today. Late this evening, I chased a cat out from under their nest. I don't usually bother the cats that roam my yard, but I felt too protective to let it hunt my babies.

baby bird on the roof

I can't afford to do this every day, but I'm grateful for the chance to do it at all. When I lived in town, the distractions were the noisy neighbors and the heavy traffic outside my window. When you look out and see asphalt and concrete, you aren't tempted to gaze at it for long. Maybe my job was safer there, but the soulless city life isn't worth the trade-off for what I have out here in the country.

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