May 14th, 2006


(no subject)

I swear, nature knows when I want to plant some stuff. It's pouring out.

I did get the beautyberry in the ground, and some of the stuff I got to test as verbena replacements. I'm trying a sample penta and portacula. If those fail, I may just swear off annuals altogether. We'll see how they fare, though.

The hawthornes are still sitting plaintively in their tubs. We were going to finally plant them today, but the weather is not cooperating. James is taking advantage of this to do a little home carpentry. It turns out that, along with all the other skills he's been hiding, he is a fair carpenter of at least simple stuff. He is making speaker stands. I swear to god, that boy takes shop classes when I'm not looking or something.

Thanks to his contribution, the remaining lilies survived the night. No, he wouldn't go in the yard. He emerged from the bathroom, handed me a bottle, and said "Do what you want with this." I think I only got that much out of him because he suspected the other option was Ursula buying a gun and sitting up waiting to cap Bambi, or worse, campaigning to finally get a dog, and he just couldn't face either thought.

Midnight Mockingbird

So the other night, at around midnight, James is out back unwinding before bed, and calls me out because he hears a bird.

I was expecting a nightbird--a whippoorwill, maybe, which would be cool, because I've never heard one, or maybe if I was lucky a chuck-widow's-will which I've also never heard. An owl, perhaps.

Instead, it was a mimid. I listened for a few minutes, unable to quite tell if it was a thrasher or a mockingbird, and anyway, what the hell? It's midnight!

Last night, he called me out again. The bird was calling again, and this time I was able to tell, because it repeated the calls three or more times, that it was a Northern Mockingbird.

Calling at midnight. Dude. Weird.

But I went and looked on-line, and to my surprise, mockingbirds are in fact known to sing at night. Only the bachelor males sing at night, in an effort to pick up chicks, possibly thinking that if they can keep the female awake, she will eventually snap and scream some mockingbird equivalent of "FINE! I'll mate with you tomorrow, now SHUT UP SO I CAN SLEEP!" (If I was a single female mockingbird, I can't swear this tactic wouldn't work on me--after a coupla sleepless nights, I'll agree to a lot of things if it means I can get some shut-eye.) Once the male gets some nookie, he apparently stops singing at night.

So out back, there is one lonely male mockingbird, singing his heart out, lookin' for love, while love attempts to roost someplace quiet and shoves her primaries in her ears.

I don't mind the singing--I can't hear it from inside--and it's sort of nice to wander out in the dark and hear a bird singing off in the distance. But at the same time, I can't help but root for the little guy to find his feathery princess, sweep her off her talons, and finally be able to stop his midnight serenade.