Monday, December 29, 2008

A Hummingbird Story

In early fall, two years ago, I found this lifeless hummingbird ensnared in our garden gate. We always have lots of half grown hummingbirds around that time of year, swooping down on the feeders and playing tag in the air. This one must have misjudged the nature of chicken wire and run out of energy while trapped. It was beautiful and delicate, even when dead.

I took some photos and then worked it out of the chicken wire and showed it to Anna. She packed it into a little cotton-lined box that had once housed jewelry and showed it to everyone who visited. The next day she took it to school to show her fifth grade class.

On the third day she decided to have a funeral. She dug a hole under the pine tree, and opened the box to say a few words about the deceased. The cat seemed to be participating, so she held the bird out for the cat to say his last words. That is when the cat jumped up, snatched the hummingbird, and swallowed it whole before she could do anything about it.

Last summer Anna had another funeral for the one-eyed baby chick that lived only a few days. The cat dug up the deceased and ate it. I'm hoping she gets this funeral thing a little more finessed before it's time for mine.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Another Lousy picture of my Exciting Life

We were driving to Leland to see my folks, checking out the ice, which was punky today after our record high temps yesterday. We saw something out on the ice, bigger than a bird, and moving fast. It was an otter, alternately running across the ice and then sliding on its belly through the puddles. It seemed to be heading towards the open water of the river, but in no particular hurry.

We have seen otters in the river, in fact one year a mother raised her pups under the dock in front of my parents' condo. We'd never seen one out on the ice before. I think the ice was strong enough for an otter, but maybe not for coyotes and other predators. It was an otter's day to play.
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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Choir Christmas

We are looking forward to this weekend's Leelanau Children's Choir Madrigal Christmas concerts, at 7:30 pm on Friday and Saturday at the Northport Community Arts Center. Anna is my only performer this year, and my work schedule has been such that I will attend Friday's performance without overhearing any of the rehearsals. Only occasionally do I get to hear a choir concert "fresh" with no idea what will happen, and I enjoy the new perspective.

I have a pet peeve about parents who videotape each and every one of their kids' performances, especially when the lit screen of their camera interferes with my ability to concentrate on the performance in a darkened hall. For me, the here-and-now quality of a live performance is part of the appeal, sort of like a sunset or a rainbow.

This is an old photo, of my three girls and Hunter Bell, standing in front of "Fluffy", the boar whose head is one of the Madrigal props. It was taken
after a performance. You can kind of see Fluffy's snout behind Shelagh.
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