Friday, May 1, 2009

Flora and Fauna on the Back Forty

Well, actually, it's the Back "Less-Than-One." Still, small or not, there is usually something nature-y going on.

Last Saturday I coerced the grandson into sitting on the patio with me for a time and seeing what he could see, not easy with an almost fourteen-year-old. Handing him a pair of binoculars helped.

It bothers me that he and a lot of kids his age have never bonded with nature. They're too busy, for one thing, and when they're not, they don't go outside all that much. Too many bugs, not enough air conditioning, too far away from the Wii. (I know, I know. I sound like Andy Rooney.)

Here are some of the things I made him look at:

The peach iris. One of my favorites. Every time I see one of them I want peach ice cream.

And the white iris -- with petals that look as if they'd been edged in a blanket stitch with purple thread:

And a pair of Eastern Bluebirds at their bluebird box. One is on the roof. The other is about to go inside.

And the lonesome dove. He or she has lost his or her mate. It comes often to the bird feeder and birdbath. Always alone. And it sings a lot -- that mournful, mournful call that is never answered.

And the rabbit. It comes out to eat the clover. It lives in a pile of privet hedge limbs -- the dh trimmed the hedge and then some. At present I'm lobbying for him to spare the debris until the rabbit is through with them.

There were also squirrels (many, MANY squirrels), a red-headed woodpecker, a thrush or two, robins, blue jays, sparrows, titmouse (mouses? mice?), mockingbirds, a finch, cardinals, and assorted butterflies.

The grandson's verdict after I made him suffer through all this? He thought for a moment -- while the wind chimes tinkled softly in the late afternoon breeze.

"It's...peaceful," he said.

Yes. It is.

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