Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fickle March

The wind is blustery today in the Valley, and it's just as well that Gladys stayed behind in the garage. As I turn the corner heading south, February slaps me in the face. I'm glad I wore the wool cap and gloves on this jaunt. There will be no swallows today silhouetted against the banks of thick gray clouds. Smoke drifts from the chimney of the Streutker homestead. A woodfire day for sure.

In spite of the wintry weather birds abound in the Valley today, especially the robins. They are everywhere: in the trees, berry fields, pastures or en route to those places. Today Tualco Valley would be a delight for Rachel Carson: no Silent Spring here.

The corner at Swiss Hall has coughed up another penny: 1974, Denver mint. Traffic has abraded Abe's face considerably, heaping more insult upon J. W. Booth's injury. When you think about it, the Lincoln penny as a talisman of good luck seems a bit ironic. I wonder what Mary Todd Lincoln would have to say about that kind of luck? And I wonder what sort of luck today's find will bring me? Hopefully nothing as severe as Lincoln experienced at the performance of My American Cousin.

On the return route I see a northern harrier (Circus cyaneus). This time of year they frequent the Valley, flying up and down the rows of wrapped berry canes as if cruising the aisles of a supermarket looking for small birds, rodents, and frogs. Harriers are raptors termed "accipiters" and are characterized by their slim bodies, long, slender wings and tail. They are open ground and marshland fliers, gliding effortlessly low over the earth in search of prey. It's a delight to watch them float, using the air currents to move rapidly, covering large areas of ground with little wing movement. The British named their vertical thrust jet fighter, the AV-8A, after the harrier hawk because of its versatile flight capabilities. The Harrier Jump jet can take off and land vertically like a helicopter because of the vertical tilt function of its engines. The similarity ends there, of course; the northern harrier is a silent hunter powered not by jet engines but currents of air.

There is always something different in the Valley and today I notice Ed's new mailbox standard. It is a masterful blend of carpentry, geometry, and 6 x 6's. All it needs is a coat of paint. Print this post

No comments:

Post a Comment