An English In Kentucky



















December 8th 2009

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    I have a suspicion Turkey are a little ahead of themselves.  They have been calling, in the clucking rather than the gobbling way, so the boys have been strutting.  And if the current weather forecast comes true, I imagine there will soon be boy Turkey feeling just a little foolish.

   When days start to lengthen there is quickly a flush of color amongst the buds of some trees.   Here, in this part of Kentucky, this happens toward the end of January.   Winter still has months of agility left in it, but some trees prepare early for spring, and always they do so at about the same time, which strikes me as a most mathematical approach to the issue of living.  

   Usually when this almost imperceptible flush of color occurs, Birds begin their process of spring.  A process easier to hear than to see.  The sound has a quality that could be mistaken for urgency, as their concept of winter territory begins to change to spring territory.      

    This passing year has been beautiful for its rain.  Yet in that order which weather provides there is no guarantee beyond an indefinite average offering general categories.  Day length on the other hand has the certainty of mathematics. 


    To coin day length as the trigger for activity in living things makes a certain scientific sense.  Indeed the variables are so handily measured that the effect of day length on living things can be amusingly demonstrated in a laboratory.  Not so weather, because the experience of weather amongst creatures that can maintain body temperature, depends more on memory, than on some lucid yet mechanical fact operating upon that part which is sometimes understood as an uncontainable reflex.

    If it were down to birds alone I would call this winter season peculiar.  Sometimes in the morning it sounds too much like spring, but a glance at woodland tells me otherwise.  

    Inevitable that observations of this nature fall prey to wishful-ness, and I will insist that it is this same wishful-ness that birds are currently enjoying as they approach their day with an enthusiasm and purpose, and they are quite unaware that days are still shortening.  

    Perhaps next year there will be drought, unimaginable humidity, stifling heat through summer months and if this does come to pass I suspect those winter comrades who fly will not preempt the spring of 2011 so readily.  

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tim candler

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(Brown Billed Scythebill