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Mon Oct 5, 2020, 11:57 AM

Chickadee Wings




I walk out into my garden, shaking off the mental dust from last week's wild ride. The New York Times report on Trump's taxes. The Melania tapes, marking the real war on Christmas. The debate. The spread of the virus within the White House and Trump campaign. Surely 2020 is the strangest year of my long life.

As I approach the garden, with three kittens tumbling about my feet, chasing my untied shoelaces, I see numerous small birds flying back and forth from the sunflowers. They are intent upon harvesting the seeds from the flowers that are in post-bloom positions. My goal is to collect some more seeds from other plants for next year's garden. I'll get some from the variety of sunflowers at a later date.

Most of the little birds are uncomfortable at first with my being near them. The only ones that pay me no attention are the chickadees, one of my favorite creatures. I pause and remember my daughter's fascination with chickadees from the time she was wee-little. Spending a afternoon with her and a 90+ year old neighbor, talking on his patio about the ways of the chickadee. Teaching her to sit quietly next to our pond, with sunflower seeds on her shoulders, to get a close-up experience with these wonderful birds.

It's a slow season here in rural upstate New York. Things are only at a high speed when I am inside my house, watching the news on television, or hanging out on the internet. I resist the temptation to check to see the latest news when I bring next year's seeds inside, and instead ask the puppy if she wants to feed the fish with me. It's a fun part of our daily routine.

On our walk to the pond, she is busy sniffing where the deer and wild turkey venture onto the edge of our lawn to dine under one of the apple trees. Five neighborhood crows announce that we are on our way, as they gather to wait for the cats to finish eating their meal. Out of seemingly nowhere, a kitten attacks the puppy's wagging tail.

By the time we reach the pond, all three kittens are with us, chasing the leaves falling from the trees. The puppy howls as hound dogs do, when she sees the fish gather to enjoy their daily meal. Eventually, she wades into the pond to attack a cattail that she attempts to uproot -- without success -- each day.

Soon, I'm back in the house. Today, I will talk with my daughter about the politics of the city she now lives in. She recently started working in a position in the city's government, and I love hearing her updates. I'll also be talking to two of her friends from back when she was a student in the local school district. These young ladies are leaders in the region's Black Lives Matter movement, and we enjoy discussing the progress they are making.

We will also discuss, of course, the upcoming presidential election. It's sort of like being outdoors and indoors here are the same time: on one hand, things are moving slowly, while on the other, everything is moving rapidly. As long as we keep working at a steady pace, 2021's garden will be beautiful.

Peace,
H2O Man

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Chickadee Wings (Original post)
H2O Man Oct 2020 OP
malaise Oct 2020 #1
H2O Man Oct 2020 #2
malaise Oct 2020 #3
MagickMuffin Oct 2020 #4
H2O Man Oct 2020 #10
MuseRider Oct 2020 #5
H2O Man Oct 2020 #11
Me. Oct 2020 #6
H2O Man Oct 2020 #12
Me. Oct 2020 #13
H2O Man Oct 2020 #16
MartyTheGreek Oct 2020 #7
H2O Man Oct 2020 #14
coeur_de_lion Oct 2020 #8
coeur_de_lion Oct 2020 #9
H2O Man Oct 2020 #15
coeur_de_lion Oct 2020 #17
hunter Oct 2020 #18
H2O Man Oct 2020 #19
lunatica Oct 2020 #20
H2O Man Oct 2020 #21

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Oct 5, 2020, 12:04 PM

1. You dear brother are a breath of

fresh air.

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Response to malaise (Reply #1)

Mon Oct 5, 2020, 12:05 PM

2. Thank you!

Luckily, my daughter did not get her musical abilities from her father.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 5, 2020, 12:08 PM

3. I'm listening to her now

and was going to PM you

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Oct 5, 2020, 12:22 PM

4. Good storyteller that you are


I wanna see pics of your lovely adventures.

Take care my friend!


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Response to MagickMuffin (Reply #4)

Mon Oct 5, 2020, 01:15 PM

10. Thanks!

I've either got to get another camera, or learn to post some of the photos that my children post for me on FB here.(Or, in reality, corner one of my kids and have them do it for me. Technology is beyond my limited abilities.)

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Oct 5, 2020, 12:23 PM

5. As always your words are a relief.

It is a beautiful day outside and our week looks to keep this up. I lost a dear horse yesterday and my feelings are very labile right now but your writing lifted me. One of my favorite relatives is driving in to stay with us for a while. He is my husbands 80 year old cousin. He loves to fish and he loves the BIG bass in our big pond. He will fish away the days and at night he and I will talk music, mostly share opera music. The ups and downs of life come quicker these days. Is it age? Must be, something else to get used to.

Your daughter has a beautiful voice. I really enjoyed that, thank you. My sons are musicians too but they play jazz. I am classical. I tend to land more along wanting to listen to the music your daughter is singing here. We all need so much more of that in our lives.

I had made a promise to myself to sit quietly by my feeders and try to get a chickadee to land and feed from my hand. I came close but never made it. Then life tossed me around a bit and I have never gone back out to try it.

Sadly chickadees, one of my favorites also, were not really here this year. Our bird population has tumbled. I did see 3 or 4 but they used to be everywhere. Very few birds on our farm that has been let go in large areas for nature to survive. Honey bees finally on the asters but none until now. Anyway...my point was to thank you again for your lovely picture and thank you for reminding me that I could try this again. I enjoyed it a lot, so quiet and wonderful with the birds. Next year I will make a point to try again. The one thing I had more than ever was hummingbirds. I almost had them landing on me each morning as I refilled their feeders. What a crew I had! Life is beautiful if you let it be but there are things that need tending so we give up a little peace to hopefully regain more peace.

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Response to MuseRider (Reply #5)

Mon Oct 5, 2020, 01:34 PM

11. I'm sorry about your horse.

We used to keep a few horses -- belonging to relatives and friends -- in my father's pasture. They each had different personalities, and were fascinating beings. I remember developing relationships with each of them, plus my father saying, "Now you understand the saying 'eat like a horse'."

My daughter and I also would bring peanuts out for the chipmunks that inhabited the stone retaining walls my sons built around the pond. That was fun, until I noticed that at dusk and dawn, lots of the neighborhood feral cats gathered at the pond. Powerful hunters.

I had two humming bird feeders at the edge of my garden again this year. They are simply amazing. Territorial, too! I had to be prepared to duck while working near one of the feeders ....not that I'm fast enough if he really wanted to nail me!

Being older gives us a different appreciation for nature. I often think of what Cus D'Amato used to say: nature teaches us a lesson as we age, and experience family and friends passing away. We come to recognize what awaits us, and appreciate every single day in a manner distinct from when we were young.

Per music: all four of my children love the Beatles. Chloe's favorite musician is John Lennon -- same as me. She likes to perform her version of "Imagine" at social-political rallies. I love watching the response of people my age listening to a youngster playing that beautiful song.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Oct 5, 2020, 12:35 PM

6. What A Beautiful Piece

My stress level dropped while reading though I have to ask what the heck are you thinking..."chasing my untied shoelaces"

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Response to Me. (Reply #6)

Mon Oct 5, 2020, 01:39 PM

12. Thank you!

Yesterday, I decided to do some work in the garden. I paced myself, and stopped before I was tired or sore. However, while I was not tired when I got up this morning, I found that tasks such as putting on socks -- much less tying my shoes -- was far beyond my ability. So I was thinking, "Walk very carefully, Patrick." I went so far as to use my shillelagh to insure my upright status.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #12)

Mon Oct 5, 2020, 01:42 PM

13. OK THen As Long As You're Not Doing A Don

Which, thankfully, you never would

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Response to Me. (Reply #13)

Mon Oct 5, 2020, 01:51 PM

16. Never!

Corey just told me about some of the mad king's insane tweets today. Pathetic. I may need to go sit out at the pond for the rest of the day.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Oct 5, 2020, 12:41 PM

7. Rec: You took me there! Thank you! I needed that!

Nice read and break from all these crazy threads. I personally need to get busy planting some seeds for my own garden! In a get busy living way!

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Response to MartyTheGreek (Reply #7)

Mon Oct 5, 2020, 01:46 PM

14. Thank you!

I've seen some facebook posts by old redneck friends, saying that they are suspicious that so many republicans have the virus, and so few of the Democrats in DC do. I refrain from suggesting that there is a rational explanation for this. "It's a plot, I tell you! The infamous Deep State!"

It is not a surprise that so many Good People are also getting caught up in the strengthening current of the national madness. As I've noted before on DU, I really believed that no year in my life cold possibly compare to 1968. Little did I know how wrong I was!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Oct 5, 2020, 12:50 PM

8. I want to come feed the chickadees

Save me a spot beside the pond.

Tie your shoelaces!

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #8)

Mon Oct 5, 2020, 12:52 PM

9. Can't listen to your daughter yet

I am at work and my headphones are not working.

Will give her a listen when I get home.)

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #8)

Mon Oct 5, 2020, 01:49 PM

15. Great!

I think that you will enjoy the pond. It is part of my favorite place on Earth.

Tying my shoes today would require the ability to bend at my waist. That's not a reality today, nor is it likely to be tomorrow. But on Wednesday, I shall surely be able to!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #15)

Mon Oct 5, 2020, 02:38 PM

17. Okay walk slow meanwhile

Or you could take the laces out.

Listened to your daughter she sounds great.

Jimi would be proud.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Oct 5, 2020, 03:06 PM

18. The chickadees may be more closely related to parrots than other little brown birds.

Bird taxonomy has been in turmoil as gene sequencing became affordable.

I notice chickadees hold and manipulate sunflower seeds much as parrots do, and other little brown birds rarely do.


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Response to hunter (Reply #18)

Mon Oct 5, 2020, 03:23 PM

19. Wow!

Thank you for sharing that. Very interesting!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Oct 5, 2020, 03:32 PM

20. Just reading this made me relax

Life is going on and all this will pass. Your kids will tell their kids about these times just like we tell them about the violence and social upheavals of our youth.

Thank you.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #20)

Mon Oct 5, 2020, 06:45 PM

21. Very good!

By around May, my younger son kept saying, "I know, I know. It reminds you of '68." And now he and the others will, as you say, have this bizarre year to talk about.

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