An English In Kentucky



















September 17th 2009

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    The Summer Tanager has a few remarks prior to abandoning us.  Cooler nights will send him to those places where frost has been forbidden so that Guava and Dragon Fruit and huge spiders might grow.  

    I heard him in the trees beyond the barn.  His voice is an uttering rather than a song.  And I have called him a post structuralist, because I believe he has no purpose to his commentary beyond the sheer joy of listening to himself.  And here, he and I have much in common.

   Out from the brush beneath the Tanagers tree, a Fox Squirrel emerged with a nut in his mouth.  He is hiding them in the barn, and I am polite in my discouragement.  When the Tanager uttered, the Fox Squirrel saw me and became still in that way that they have as though mind has left them to cruise amongst dreams of less ordinary things.



    Sharing, as I do, so much with the Summer Tanager, we talk past each other quite happily.  I told him that this year I might have seen a Lazarus Lizard on the railing around the house.  The glimpses I have had of this lizard are fleeting, and probably it is the young of something else, because Lazarus Lizards are supposed not to have strayed far into Kentucky from Cincinnati.  Yet the people who lived on this ground some years before us hailed from Cincinnati.  They had children, so maybe.

    He told me persimmons had been too plentiful and his own children had over indulged on the rotten ones, causing them to become unsteady and badly behaved.   A circumstance he thoroughly enjoyed because it put him in mind of his own youth.  He has been unable to eat persimmons since.

    And there is one thing the Summer Tanager and I finally agree upon, Morning Glories deserve their name.

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tim candler

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(podacis  muralis) (Guava)