Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rainy Day Rosies

rbg775No blues around here, despite four days of rain and gray. Tough to wallow in depression when there’s company like this about. Yes, the Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) has made another appearance here at the fancy foothills home base! What a way to brighten the gloom! He showed up late Sunday afternoon, between downpours, and popped in again while Bee Lady and Flame were in attendance yesterday afternoon. Perfect timing!

rbgrosbkLast night he shared the feeder with two pairs of Black-headed Grosbeaks, or hovered photogenically nearby in the ash tree waiting his turn. We sat out a bit this evening, but it’s downright chilly out there now, so in it is.

(Two consecutive days is a new record. Last year’s visit was a singular occasion.)

Downpours and thunder have alternated with gentle spring sprinkles since Friday night! All 052609most welcome, not least for the weeding it affords. We  have green to rival the best of Ohio—or Ireland! After a droughty winter, it’s a wonder and joy to see the response of the plants to all this moisture. Today’s ritual photo is bright, compared to the weekend’s experience. No complaints.

Water is rising in Bear Creek, well past cafe au lait and on its way beyond dark chocolate mocha. Our Historian says the cottonwoods in Mt. Vernon Canyon, just upstream of town, are of a size to indicate flood times due, but so far, it all seems to be soaking in pretty well.

Extreme weather, they say, is what we can expect more of as nature gets even. Unusual events, too, most likely—the appearance of critters where we haven’t seen them before, and the disappearance of others as Earth seeks a new equilibrium.

As Paul Hawken, choosing to be optimistic, told a graduating class recently: “Basically, civilization needs a new operating system, you are the programmers, and we need it within a few decades.” Career-wise, no problem for new graduates: “The Earth is hiring!” And there’s a lot of work to do!

Dave at Osage+Orange shared a great interview with James Lovelock, who takes a different tack on optimism. He tells us that it’s already too late, but facing the challenges ahead will cause us humans to pull together like never before. “[S]o when I think of the impending crisis now, I think in those terms. A sense of purpose - that's what people want.”

Lovelock’s advice: "Enjoy life while you can. Because if you're lucky it's going to be 20 years before it hits the fan." Heckuva legacy to give to your children.

Sarcozona, who will be hosting Berry-Go-Round this week at Gravity’s Rainbow, has a great post on Advocacy (check her links), and a suggestion about kids: “have none or fewer”… I’d add, especially if you love children! We’re leaving them a tough uphill battle, and this is a conversation we need to start having. Sustainability? There are simply too many of us.


rbgros776Meanwhile, for the time being, Earth offers wonders, daily, to each of us.  Every bird in the backyard, every flower and, yes, weed is another opportunity to share in the incredible that lies before and around us. We have only to look, and if we look, won’t we want to preserve? A parting quote from Hawken:  

Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course. The world would create new religions overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch television.


Watcher said...

Cool that you have both Rose-breasted and Black-headed. The Black-headeds are quite common here in the Wasatch now up in the oak/maple around 7,000 feet, but we don't get the Rose-breasted.

BTW, as a "breeder" I am always grateful for the support and space provided by non-breeders. And just for the record, we were trying for 2, but for #2 mother nature gave us the 2-for-1 special...

Sally said...

But we DON'T have Rosies-- at least not normally! You should keep an eye out...

Sorry, my non-breeding space allotment has already been overcompensated, many times over, in my own (extended, not immediate) family, alas. I understand you are "victims" of unexpected special offers-- and the twins are beautiful wonderful people!