Sunday, June 23, 2013

Pink Negligee

June 23 4:41 a.m. Pond Report:
Horse in Pink

Pond in Her Pink Negligee
Pink Mist in the Pines
Well, Hello Kingfisher
Power-line Dove
Birds or Punks?
Pasture Flockers
Red-shafted Northern Flicker
Imagine a Hummingbird Here
Pink as a Negligee
There Goes the Sun
Evening Falls Across Still Waters
No Super Moon for This Place
Truly I have cause to be up at 4:41 a.m. At one time in my life, that hour signaled rise-and-shine to load up in my Dad's logging truck to drive over Ebbett's Pass and arrive at his logging camp in Pacific Valley. I cleaned an entire valley of limbs and logging debris. That's what I got for telling Mom I didn't want to work in the store that summer.

Thus I still think of 4 a.m. as the logging hour.

So it makes me giggle to find Elmira contained in pink mist. Pink is not a color I associate with logging. But pink it is, colored by the early dawn. The pond looks as if I caught her early out of bed wearing nothing but a pink negligee, one of those gossamer see-thru nighties for intimate occasions.

Does anyone (but the pond) even wear pink negligees any more? At one time I had a stellar collection of wispy nighties that must have been so fantastical to my three children that they absconded with my sheer wardrobe, turning the collection into dress-up princess clothes.

It marked my fall from sexy-woman. However, I fell squarely into motherhood which fit me better, anyways.

Not much more to say than a pink tangent. The setting of the super moon was my reason to rise, but the mist and thin clouds hide it from view. Dawn is pretty to see, one of those unexpected surprises. The horses bed down in the mist, the birds chatter and the pond parades in pink.

June 23 Afternoon Pond Report:

A new orchestra arrives. Today, the sounds shift, even for one such as me. I can't carry a tune and my listening skills can be weak (psst...don't tell my husband that I might admit to having impaired-listening). I'm often so excited to feel the music or capture the story that I miss the individual details like notes or names. So for me to say that I notice a shift in sound, the shift must be significant.

It's like going to hear the symphony. You know how the musicians warm up before a performance, and all you hear are disconnected blasts of notes? You can tell the clarinets from the flutes from the trombones, but you can't catch a song. That's what it sounds like around the pond today. Like a greater number of different birds are tuning their instruments.

So today I turn the binoculars on the the trees and fence-lines surrounding Elmira. At first, all the birds look alike, just as everyone in the orchestra dresses in black. But I start to capture nuances, subtleties. I'm surprised to find the belted kingfisher sitting in a shrub on the south side of the pond. He seems decaffeinated today, less fluttery.

Movement catches my eye and I follow it to the power-line. Turns out to be a dove. Another flies past and the dove on the power-line flies off with it. On the far fence-line sits a group of birds like teenagers hanging out at the soda shop. Grayish, blackish, I'm not sure what they are. Another flock of birds is rising and settling like locust in the grass. Actually, if there were locusts, these birds would be feasting. As it is, they are either munching seeds or insects. They continue to rise and settle in the far pasture.

Robins poke at the ground and some unnamed nut-knocker whistles abruptly from the pine tree by the porch without ever revealing his presence. Tree swallows continue to dance but I distinctly hear a chickadee, one bird call I do know. Chickadees are also fly-catchers and may flock with the swallows. Or, not. Then, I see another bird perched on a fence-line and as it darts away, its salmon-red underwings tells me its a red-shafted northern flicker.

Then a hummingbird flits up to the mass of wild Nae Roses for a nectar kiss. I try to follow his retreat but he is so tiny and fast. I learn that the tiniest bird north of Mexico is the Calliope hummingbird and it actually nests in the extreme cold of high mountains, including northern Idaho. I'll have to look for distinguishing marks next time. If I can look that fast.

So many birds in a single day. Like the roses, did they suddenly bud? The music is different, the late afternoon smells of roses and meadow grass and the birds seem to sing of it. Another Lady Rose unfurls.

June 23 Super Moon Report:

The sun glows behind thin gray clouds and prepares to dip behind the tallest peak west. As evening falls I anxiously await the super moon. Last night, through binoculars, it looked like a navel orange. Tonight I want to capture its fullest rise in the east. Several times I step outside, hoping to see the clouds clear as they did last night. Alas, the moon never shows. The only glow for miles around is that of my own windows.

Guess it's time to go to bed and put on my own pink negligee...who am I kidding? I wear t-shirts and flannel and pink is not a common color to a logger's daughter. But orange is a close cousin.

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