Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Orchards and Cowbirds

I'd like to say, "There's an Orchard Oriole in the Orchard." But that would be an error of imaging.  What I call the Orchard is more like a half dozen or so Fire Blighted trees in various stages of revolt, and they're out there, where the Deer, the Antelope and the Red Squirrel roam, and they're watched over by Saint Teresa and peered at by compost piles, so Fire Blight is the least of their concerns. But if you look at them from Google Earth you will see that they make a rather nice circle. An intuition on my part that could suggest a pleading to the great unknown rather than any kind of basic grasp of how to plan,  maintain  and prune Trees that produce edible fruits.  Which means that if you're thinking, hammocks, shade and lazy chairs, and Butterfly flitting from bough to bough, and serenade of contentment, then you'd be very wrong.  Better to imagine the Orchard as a couple of hundred square feet of sad looking plants that might recently have been visited by some kind of plague, and with a breeze from the northwest, compost can develop an agricultural aroma. Which is scent some never learn to  fully appreciate.

As for the Oriole. Some of us have an intense disregard for Cowbirds, and any dark looking bird that's Cowbird size,  is a Cowbird first and something else second. Of Cowbirds, there is a relationship between the beak and the eyes, that totally troubles me, especially in the girl Cowbird.  There's appalling sneakiness combined with a sort of superior staring that puts the creeps into me. Boy Cowbirds are just dumb, they'd spend their time looking in the mirror and wearing fancy shoes if they were boy people, but Girl Cowbirds are scary, and they're kind of in charge of the Cowbird community.  Anyway, in the first part of the morning, it's perhaps easier to tromp around leaping to conclusions. Then, sometime around the afternoon a person has a chance to reappraise.  Boy Cowbirds have a rustiness around the head, Boy Orchard Orioles have a reddishness on his breast. And Girl Orchard Orioles have a lot of yellow.  And there's a big difference in the attitude between Cowbirds and Orchard Orioles. Orchard Orioles are shy.  All of which means, "There might have been an Orchard Oriole out there by the outhouse." Which is definitely exciting for some of us.

No comments: