There are many things that make me ask questions, and the thing that is weighing most heavily on my mind on this day is just that – as we grow older and get shorter, where does that height go? Does it go to the feet? I have noticed that over the years the shoe size I have to buy for proper fit gets larger. In truth, this started happening before my height started reducing, so I think that height does not really go to the feet. After looking in the mirror, I’m pretty sure it goes to the midsection. It is reassuring to know that I have not truly lost that inch or two, that it’s just relocated.
The California Quail seem to always be together, in pairs, the male and his partner. Even in groups, there will be equal numbers. The male is always the lookout, always on watch for danger, protecting his partner and later, when the chicks have arrived, his family. Canadian Geese also always seem to be in pairs. What is it about that that makes my heart warm and my lips turn up on the outer corners?
My kids, who spend their lives in more heavily populated areas, tell me that people from Oregon are very strange. When they come to visit and we go to the town or the cities where there are people they do not know, those people have a strange habit, they say. It’s that turning up of the outer corners of their lips thing that surprises, but also pleases, my progeny. It apparently is something they do not often see in their parts of the world.
How many pine cones can a tree produce anyway? This year has provided a bumper crop of pine needles, and now an extraordinary crop of pine cones. Yesterday I filled two and a half five gallon buckets with pine cones, just from an area of about 20 ft square. Or perhaps a bit less. An area that had already been cleaned up, not all that long ago. If we had a chipper and the hours it takes, we could be producing a lifetime supply of mulch in the form of chipped pine cones. Many years ago, when I came across a ground littered with pine cones, I was compelled to pick them up, to save them. Do you want to hear something really silly? When we moved here I packed a couple of bags of pine cones I had collected from sundry places. That’s like taking your wardrobe of shoes to a shoe factory!
We watched War Horse the other night. I really should avoid movies with animals because an animal suffering or injured tears at my innards and breaks my heart. It had a happy ending, yes, but getting from the happy beginning to the happy ending was torture, pure torture. Torture that produced torrents of tears, and the tears drew the attention of the Shasta dog, who came to my side and would not leave it. She said to me, “Mom, don’t cry mom. We all love you. We’re all here with you”. She soothed that poor breaking heart of mine and the tears went away.
While the quail and the geese pair up, many birds seem to thrive in large groups. Yellow-headed blackbirds and red-winged blackbirds are like that. They arrive in a hoard, they land on the ground in huge numbers, and all of them fly up into the air at once. Loners, they are not. With the bluebirds, where there is one there will be another. Have you noticed that robins seem to always be alone? I think the guy drops in long enough to help with reproduction, and then he is gone again. Blackbirds, however, make me wonder if she really knows who the father of her young is.
How about you? Are you a group person, a pair person, or a solitary person?