Tuesday January 15th 2013
Strange Crew on the drive back from town.
I thought it a carrion Bald Eagle slinking around, so I slammed on the
brakes. Never a wise move with a little ice on the hood and no
clear view through the rear view mirrors, and the Postman somewhere
about his route, and farmers on tractors up to god knows what with round
bales. This bird had the blotchy whiteness of a juvenile, and
following its pattern whenever it's presented with a more youthful
creature that can fly, my callous heart softened, because everyone
learns over time, and sometimes that learning can be difficult, and
painful, and does not necessarily end in fairy land and a roast Potato.
The bird flew again. I raced after it to get my second chance at
seeing him. His head was small and his neck was longer. Some
years ago there was an Osprey on the lake. But today's was not a
conclusive sighting, because I could have been chasing a Turkey
Vulture that had squabbled with bleach.
In the lane, where mud is
gathering upon gravel, as hillsides succumb to ice and wet and mire and
bog-dom, the sort of chill and damp that brings visions of a hell that does
not include fire or heat of any kind, two Pileated Woodpecker with splendid
feathers and bright red crests. And when you see two of them around
the time when Snow drops develop delusions, you know its either two boy
Pileated Woodpeckers up to no good, or it's a boy who thinks he might have
found a girl. Difficult to know, because Pileated Woodpecker are
aloof, and in my view rather conceited. Of course the idea of hell as a
fiery furnace arrives through the ancient practice of burning the chaff, so
as to be utterly rid of that which is deemed useless. Otherwise at
this time of the year a person might begin to think hell fire a welcome
resort, the Cancun of tomorrow, which I guess is why those less consumed by
purity often choose to depart the coil in winter.