Monday, March 12, 2007

I Was Tempted...

I was tempted this morning to wear my spring jacket.

It was good I didn't.

True, it will be warm today, that is for a day before the middle of March.

However, because of the clear skies during the night there was frost and the windows of my old junker of a car had a skin of ice.

I would have been late to catch the morning train, except the train was late also.

I forgot my cell phone, left it in my spring jacket. That sort of thing happens in the spring when you change coats.

Waiting for the train, I saw a rare phenomenon in the morning sky. The first time I saw it was in the evening dusk, up in Sweden. It occurs when a high-flying airplane is, relative to the viewer flies out of the setting or rising sun.

The contrail of a high flying jet casts a shadow you don't normally see, but when the position of the viewer is just right, you see the shadow of the contrail cast just a bit to the side of the white chalk mark in the sky. Because the sun is rising (or setting) the two trails, the contrail and its shadow appear to move as the hands on a clock.

When that happens, I wonder what time it really is...

The time was "good night Ole" for one of the birds who have been visiting my feeding stations this winter. I was out sweeping up the mess of empty sunflower seed shells and bird shit the little buggers leave on the ground under the stations and swept up the body of a little bird I had noticed a few times the past week. It was a little male green-sisk -- I don't know the English name, but the latin is Carduelis spinus. The picture at the top is of such a little fellow and you can hear its song here (the site is in Danish, you'll need to scroll down to "gr√łnsisken" and click on the little icon that looks like two musical notes -- hope you can find it!)

It's part of spring I guess, the little ones who can't quite make it through the winter die off -- I had seen this one in the morning a few times, with its head nestled into its shoulder, feathers puffed up to conserve body heat. Now, with the life gone, it was so small.

There were other signs of spring I saw yesterday.
A lady bug, having crawled out of its winter hiding spot, wandered, confused, in the sun.

Two butterflies, having found each other, were negotiating on the subject of butterfly love.

Two of the vines in the driveway got leaves during the night.

As for the little bird, whose bubble ship of life had popped, I threw it in the garbage -- it was the kindest thing I could do.

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