Friday, May 30, 2008

Observations from my backyard

Can anyone venture a guess at what this is? Let's just say that it wasn't on the realtor's MLS listing.

Maybe a closer shot will help solve the puzzle

A wild strawberry

My backyard will be pleased to know that today it has made my blog. Finally, after months of trouble getting the photos off the camera and into the computer, some technological miracle has occurred. It is a painstaking process, about a minute per picture. But I am now able to show the world the wonders of Middle Tennessee, at least from my vantage point.

Claire and I began early in the day by providing a feast for the birds (of bread, and semi-stale at that). I had found several loaves that were so old they were beginning to get moist in the bag, but not quite in the green stage of decomposition. A mini-loaf of Italian bread that could break plexiglass lurked behind the jelly, a sure place to get lost in the refrigerator. It was the good, bakery kind--loaded with steamed whole cloves of garlic.

Later on, while watching the common birds--robins, cardinals, blue jays and grackles--fight over the scraps, we learned some things about bird behavior. Blue jays and robins seem to despise one another, pecking and kicking at eachother as they fly. The outgoing grackles swoop down in the interim to get what they can salvage, taking advantage of the animosity between the others.

Garlic bread is not a favorite for anyone out here in the backyard. The truly brave souls are the grackles, oftentimes seen hovering around people-places waiting for scraps to fall, where they unapologetically snatch them up. It is only the grackles who even attempt to peck at the first chunk (it was too hard to break into pieces, so I hope that rain will fall to make it a bit more palatable). Upon finding this first bite unsatisfactory, they move on to the larger loaf lying in the tall crabgrass nearby. One sample of that, and up they fly. This same scenario repeats itself with scores of birds. Several of them pause before tasting and tilt their little heads sideways, kind-of like my dog does when I'm making howling noises (or singing. I wouldn't lie about such a thing, as Nashville is thematically the wrong place for me to be due to this fact).

I wonder if some of those same birds have come back to try again, given that there are so many flying in and out of the area, in hopes to find something different or better. I imagine that tomorrow morning the garlic loaves will be lying there still intact and loaded with ants, the crabgrass obscuring them just a little more.


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