Indigo Bunting arrive quite early in the year. A person can see little groups of them looking for sustenance in the low grass, on the gravel and they do all seem to get along with each other, chatting about this and that, recalling past moments and yet a keen observer can sense the tension in their midst. A couple of months later, when nests are up and thinking about the possibility of eggs, if a person sees an Indigo Bunting it's more likely to be an Indigo Bunting hell bent on chasing another Indigo Bunting. They're like blue darts screeching across the higher grasses. To my mind this sort of berserker behavior is amongst the first of many depressing sights of summer. Then if you still haven't recognized the signs, you might find yourself already in bed before the sun has troubled to set. And yes, we're talking the Summer Solstice which is up there with Christmas Day as one of the more depressing days of the year.
"Whoa!" I hear the call. "There's a long time to go until the leaves fall to the
frost, there's days and days of canning for you to get excited about, beets for
you to pickle, Johnson grass to wage war upon, that sort of thing. And there's
compost for you to get worked up about. You might even get another chance to to
throw stones at the Bald Eagle if he comes too close. Life's far too
short......" All of which totally misses the point. From about the two weeks
before Summer Solstice until Winter Solstice, some of us spend far too many of
our important contemplative hours wondering whether the six months between
Summer and Winter Solstice is a down hill slope or an uphill slope. It's a big
question, that lurks in the way that a Saber Toothed Tiger might once have
lurked around a playpen for the bright young stars of the Stone Age, back in the
day before we got all hoity-toity around bronze. The thing is, for me at least,
sometime on the day of Winter Solstice this big question just disappears,
evaporates, off into the mist, like magic until something like Indigo Buntings
start having a go at each other.