Friday, July 26, 2013

Personal Exploration 2

I begin to like the idea that language emerges in creatures through their emotions.  The fortunate Oak Tree says hardly a word.  Ducks can quack out their irritation, of course.  And I am pretty certain that Egg Plants are mostly sullen.

My own species is well supplied by emotions, and consequently we are the Olympiads of natter, much of our time spent voicing emotions., if not out loud then as a sort of background grumble.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Personal Exploration.

I'd say that matters of personal exploration should probably be left private until such time as they are positively formed. However, with respect to structure, it is more often the case that matters of personal exploration, as they become formed take on a hue, and this hue has first to fit a pre-existing pattern, otherwise it remains private - or incomprehensible.

 The flaw in language, as a means of personal exploration, is that while members of our species are capable of acquiring it, we as individuals do not determine the meaning of words on our own. That definition comes from the amalgam, or the aedicule, hidden deep down there in the soup. All the same, I am able to say "Deep Sea Suds" and it makes a sort of sense. So I guess the question is, what do I mean by 'personal exploration.'

Monday, July 22, 2013

Pen-Y Fal

The Rabbit of Usk is proceeding, I guess. But where he goes or what he might actually want I am less and less certain. Currently he has bitten through my slipper, causing my big toe to bleed.  As I am the only one who can see and touch him, there are some in Pen-Y Fal, who think my suddenly bleeding big toe belongs to the miraculous.

However, should I prolong my own agony, embrace the possibility that I am indeed touched by god, odds are there will be no possibility of me ever leaving Pen-Y Fal.  And with respect to structure, such an impasse would depress me mightily. Incidentally, Pen-Y Fal the Joint Counties Lunatic Asylum, which is what the asylum in Abergavenny used to be called is now days given over to high end apartments.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


In the cupboard there were sixteen pint jars, labeled  BAP09. They had been there for basically as long as I can remember.  Occasionally The Artist would come across one or other of them and would question me as to their contents.  Which is a fine opportunity for me to harp on about the precociousness of young Hummingbird who spend July travelling  in packs, looking for trouble and adventure. And I usually finish my account by saying, "And it does you no good to swat at them."

 Anyway, BAP09 refers to Blackberry Apple Jam that was made on the outdoor stove in the hot weather of 2009.  And thanks to the interference by Hummingbird I was not able to get the jam to set. So I bottled it and stored it away, for maybe a second chance at it sometime in the cold weather. Yesterday I couldn't take it any longer, I opened the bottles smelled each one of them, then poured them into the big shiny cook pot that's made in India, and in the safety of the kitchen I boiled them to the mutual exhaustion point. There are now eleven pints of BAP09 in the cupboard. I'm going to call it "very expensive syrup."

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Yellow Chat Girls

 The Yellow Chat's infidelity is advantageous.  For some it could be no more that a wandering eye on a hot afternoon.  However, Yellow Chat girls long ago realized that appearance in their men folk is sometimes deceptive.

 Yellow Chat boys on the other hand own what they understand as glamour. They are beautiful. And while some would argue that Dinosaurs, the ancestor of all birds, declined as a consequence of earth's collision with a meteor. Yellow Chat girls know better.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Yellow Chat

For a moment, the big question for me, was whether the Yellow Chat has set his mind upon a second brood.  I saw him yesterday, in the mid afternoon.  The temperature was 92F, and I'd call the humidity level "Beak Pant Horrible," because the Mockingbird was just sitting there with his mouth open, and like me he was drooping and somewhat disgruntled.  But there the Yellow Chat was, doing his Butterfly Dance, down on the slope.  Up and around and around.  A beautiful thing to see, even if it did appear a little desperate and I had to wonder why he didn't wait until the cool of the longer evening.

Nor is the Yellow Chat's Butterfly Dance effortless. It requires a considerable exertion from him. He has to flap his wings in a most awkward manner so that his dance might be fully appreciated by any one who might happen to be watching, and he has to do this while singing the least relaxing of his many songs. In the deep shade of my own nest, I did read a rumor about the Yellow Chat girls.  It was a study of DNA samples from Yellow Chat nestlings in Kentucky.  This study found that seventeen percent of Yellow Chat nestlings were not 'legitimate' in the "One Married Man" sense of that word.  

Thursday, July 18, 2013


There are two periods of portliness in the year.  July though September, and December through February.  The other half of the year is fairly active.

 Summer portliness is caused by sitting around yearning for ice cream.  Winter portliness is caused by sitting around yearning for bread with butter and maybe some sort of jam.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Spent a dew soaked ten minutes polishing some sort of fungus off the good shoes.  The ones that I believe give off an impression of good moral character.  Then I entered an internal debate with socks.  The smart shoes are black, and somewhere I have black socks.  I have always felt that black shoes with white socks makes a person look like a spiv.  Which is an English word for someone who might have spent time in the nick for selling things from the back of a lorry, so accept only cold, hard cash from him.

However, my debate with socks quickly entered the "I am what I am" phase and I decided I would wear the work boots, which have a little age on them.  And even though the laces are original equipment, the age of the work boot is not a comfortable, well seated age, but an "I am on my last leg, and I don't give a damn" sort of age.  Nor are they often permitted indoors owing to their fragrant quality which very few know how to appreciate.  In the end I went with the smart shoes and no socks.   And I can tell you, the smart shoes with no socks, is not a look you want to cultivate when visiting a Dentist's chair.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Body Past Perfect

The tummy button is not a good place to be bitten by anything. There is an element of indignity to it, as well as an appalling sneakiness on the part of the biter. But perhaps more elucidating  is to be bitten by an Ant on that back part of the upper arm, which were I a bird, I'd have some rather elegant flight feathers, but which because I have been made decrepit by opposable thumbs I can only ever see in a mirror.

If I were a bird, I'd not have to rip off the long sleeve shirt and peer around in a truly spastic and short sighted manner looking for a culprit. Instead I'd be able to use my beak, which as far as I can tell would be able to reach each and every part of my body, except perhaps parts of  my head.  And if you wonder why an Ant should produce so a dramatic reaction, it's because  the Velvet Ant has been spotted marching along the lane and her bite, I am told, will reduce an Elephant to tears.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


To hell with it!  Especially on Bastille Day!  I will no longer be gathering the Wild Blackberry in quarts.  That particular pathetic measurement for Blackberry is about as bland as is the name Hope for a Seal Island Puffling.  Instead I am going to work on the principle of a basic quart type measurement that I will call "A Dog Tic Ton."

There will be four "Dog Tic Tons" to "One Lone Star Tic Tonne." And here, the observant might recognize a curious conjoining of Imperial and Metric, for which there was a reason, but at the moment that reason eludes me following heat stress on brain cells.  Then while gathering Blackberry, if ever two Lone Star Tic Tonnes are achieved it will from henceforth be called "A Drunken June Bug,"  because  one "Drunken June Bug" is sufficient Blackberry for six jeroboam of the wine.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Seal Island Puffling

 I understand from The Artist that when the Seal Island Puffling was still an egg, he or she was given the name Hope.  Not that it's any of my business, and why should I care, but for some reason the idea of naming the Puffling "Hope," has produced in me a very poor reaction.

 Of all names in the universe of names, which could be applied to a Puffling or a Puffin Egg, I am of the opinion that  "Hope" is possibly the most unutterably dull and insipid name that a mind could reach for.  However, to the question: "Why not name the Puffling, Hope?" The sad fact is, that I have no good answer.

Friday, July 12, 2013


Of the five or seven beautiful days in the year, today was one of them. Clear air, good Butterfly breeze, sufficient cloud in a sky that was a respectable blue, a close up look at one of those Warblers that's impossible to identify, an absence of quarrel in the community of Mockingbird, and though it is still early, nothing has yet bitten me.  Which means today could become the day all other days will from henceforth be compared to.

And on a day like this I had my chance to better understand the statement "Socrates was decadent."  And while I am very aware that most will dismiss this statement, I was able to better understand it, because when the weather is perfect and the day is beautiful, I become a materialists.  Idea disappears.  So on reflection it was probably just as well that while digging the Potato, I found some that had been gnawed upon by Vole.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Weather Statement

These past nine days have tested the proud men and women of the National Weather Service. No doubt the political class have added to their woes.  And I think KD sums their exasperation with: "Special Weather Statement in effect until further notice."

It was Saint David of Wales, whose Feast Day is March 1st, who uttered the immortal words,  "Gwnewch y pethau bychain mewn bywyd." Which for an English, means something like, be sure to mind the little things in life. Which is another way of saying, "an occasional thank-you is welcome."

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


 Very warm in the outdoors here in Kentucky with storms anticipated.  Fortunately The Artist directed me to The Puffin Cam, live from a Puffin Burrow in Seal Island which is in US Eastern Standard Time. It was sixty one degrees there at noon today, and I got the sense the sun was shining.

 The Artist tells me that one of the main reasons to watch the Puffin Cam, is the opportunity to admire a Puffin blink.  Sadly for the past three hours, the Puffin has been asleep with his or her back facing the camera.  The Artist also informs me that a Puffin's child is called a 'Puffling."!/live-cams/player/puffin-burrow-cam

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

June Rhee

The 'June Rhee' bird is a familiar voice, and I can even sometimes remember the name given him by the community of ornithologists, or 'twitchers' as they are sometimes called. June Rhee will sing for hours, and he is obviously very proud of his voice, because he can go on through the course of an entire afternoon without apparently pausing for breath.

Then the other day, while battling the outdoors I heard what I have to call 'Beetroot' from June Rhee. He said the word several times.  It's possible I had sweat in the ears and I know I was standing on a slope, both of which can do things to the auditory function in those of us who become easily disorientated by the hot weather. Either way, he'll always be June Rhee to me.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Distrust of Flocks

While on the one hand I understand 'science,' it's rigor and attention  to disciplined parameters from which to take evidence, I am also prone to the other hand from where comes the self serving, the ridiculous and the fantastic.  Nor am I one of those persuaded to think that either priests or scientists are pure.  I prefer to think of them as devoted to poetic forms, passionate in their pursuit.

So when I tell you that the American Robin is primarily a flocking bird for whom child rearing is essentially an embarrassing interlude, it's conceivable you might request some sort of evidence. Then if I tell you that Mockingbirds have a particular distrust of birds that flock, odds are you'll nod the head politely and take steps to avoid me in the Grocery Aisle.   But before you leave, let me reassure you, Grackles are birds that flock and take great joy from raising their children.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Blackberry and Gallons

In the matter of Blackberry, it can be rather important to recall the distinction between the volume of a "Quart" and the volume of a "Gallon," rather than luxuriating in an ability to remember that there are four quarts to one gallon. But should ever a mind remember a recipe as requiring "Ten Gallons of ripe Blackberry" the better plan is to sit quietly and count Tic bites before proceeding, because the odds are that mind has entered the loose-leaf phase.

Then there is the issue of "The Quart."  My advice is to never use a "Two Quart Container" to measure "Quarts of ripe Blackberry."  I say this because sure as onions, somewhere during the process a mighty confusion will erupt.  Paper and pencil is also useful, and there should only ever be one person in charge of counting.  As well, it's worth remembering that as a general rule recipes measure Blackberry in "Quarts," not in "Gallons."  Or in another way, the word "Gallon" and "Blackberry" should never be used in the same sentence.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Seven and a quarter inches of rain in the past couple of days, and more to come. Wonderful really, unless a person spent a majority of the early part of his year preparing ground for drought. The Vegetable Garden this morning could be mistaken for Duck habitat.

There was a time when I might have imagined today as being spent tooth and nail against others.  And I really should get out there before Turkey and Coyote get more than their share. But I guess of two possible epitaphs, I'd prefer, "Struck by lightning while gathering Blackberry," to "Drowned in his Bean Patch."

Friday, July 5, 2013

Old Germans

Not good weather for Tomato.  The Artist tells me the Old Germans are dropping, but you'd reckon on Hillbilly turning a shoulder to the damp and chill, bring out the Billy Goat Voice and washboard, sing about a Turnip led astray by stubborn Dandelions.

 Mind you I nearly drowned in a culvert one mid summer storm in Germany.  It was more like Cabbage country than Tomato country.  Well kept and orderly woodlands, I remember, and as dour as the big road from here to Paducah. So I am surprised the Old Germans are dropping.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


Rain, heavier rain forecast, with possibility of  'ponding in roadways,' and 'flash floods.' Today's big parade has been postponed until Saturday, everyone sent home, and the Fire Trucks and Tractors back in their garages.  Perfect opportunity just to sit around drinking for those who can.

The Artist, whose own blood is a little more red, white and blue than mine, took us to the 'show-down' yesterday evening. She reminded me to face the flag during the anthem. I was hoping to see an electric guitar that could sing and a bass player. Maybe a drummer with a sense of humor. Or someone who could dance. But I reckon we are too close to Nashville, and too trapped by corporate for those sorts of delights.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Outhouse

Saint Teresa is looking wonderful.  And I have to suspect that were she to see herself in the mirror she might agree with the more ardent of her barefoot followers that her nine haunting Quail do indeed represent the mystery of peace.

I can report she has another miracle to add to her tally. Desiccated Mushroom logs presented to her for cure, have bloomed large numbers of Gilled Golden Oyster or Side Ear mushrooms.  And a Yellow Chat has a nest on her windward side.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Crows and Mockingbirds

Crows are birds that mock, and they are birds that snatch nestlings. They'll harass a flying Redtail, they'll chase after an Owl, and they do this on the off chance the Redtail or the Owl will drop whatever little bit of meat it might be carrying. It is also the case that Crows are envious of birds that are better built to hunt meat because Crows are aware that robbing a nest of  nestling is cowardly and a long way from dignified. So sometimes this envy bubbles over causing Crows to  mock the Redtail or the Owl just for the hell of it.  And great fun and noise and excitement can be achieved in the community of Crows when a Redtail or an Owl becomes stubborn.

But robbing nests of their nestlings is a sneaky business. You'll see a Mockingbird, with morsel in beak, sit for a while on a high point.  He or she will look around and if he or she thinks something is watching, there will be no flight to the nest and no food for the child.  Nest security is critical. No one is supposed to know where the nest is, unless that someone is deemed harmless, without malice, or possibly dim-witted.  When the Northern Mockingbird's growl is particularly insistent, I find myself following his gaze toward a Crow waddling along the lane. Which means that I have to stand up, find my footwear, my sun wear  and I have to head down the lane, waving the good arm and yelling "chop-chop." When the Crow finally does take to flight, which he is always reluctant to do, the Northern Mockingbird chases after him, in high dudgeon, all the way to the horizon. He probably calls it "team work." I call it "being bossed around."

Monday, July 1, 2013

Tic Borne

I have to avoid reading about Tic Borne sicknesses.  I have all the symptoms of every known Tic Borne sickness, including 'mood swing,' 'memory lapse,' 'arthritic pain,' 'twitching and ennui,' 'inability to button shirt,' 'nebulosity of thought process,' and great many more that have yet to be given names. And in brief moments of clarity when I am capable of reflection, I can see quite clearly that I have suffered from one or other of the many Tic Borne sicknesses for thirty or forty years.

 More curious though is the conjoining of two or three different Tic Borne sicknesses in the same body. This festival of symptoms produces what I will call  "fogginess of diagnosis," which in the medical profession is a polite way of defining, "a well insured malinger or mental patient."  And more interesting, the White Tail Deer isn't the primary host for a Black Legged Tic as it potters through the two years of its lifecycle. That distinction is awarded to a Mouse, which in Connecticut, the home of Lyme Disease, is referred to as the White Footed Mouse, and very adorable it is.