Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hedging her bet.

Ian was helping out at the shop Saturday and while clearing some brush, noticed this nest within a shrub of some sort. I had never seen a robin (Turdus migratorius*) have two babies with two eggs in the nest. Either they never hatched (good, judging from the amount of space available to the remaining fledglings) or they will hatch soon. The fledglings are eating like pigs and have been seen stretching their wings a bit.

I like robins. They're common, simple birds but they're pretty and they're not sparrows. Since I grew up in the desert, they seem a little exotic to me. When I was first married and new to Wisconsin, I observed that it is a Midwestern characteristic to talk about the weather and the seasons. Whereas in California the talk is about who got a new Beemer, here it's about who saw the first robin (a sure sign of Spring).

I like people who are in touch with the natural world, no matter how tenuous and slight that link might be. For the mindless climate controlled masses on the west coast, where I do believe a substantial population has never breathed non-air-conditioned air, well, they miss out. We get fireflies on muggy nights, and it's worth it to get a little sticky to see the dance over the prairie grasses.

Respectfully submitted,


*This does not mean "migrating turd." It means "migrating thrush" since robins are thrushes. "Migrating turd" is a Grateful Dead song, I think. If not, it should be.


mk said...

I'm really pleased that you followed up more with the origin of "turdus" but you can't tell me the other birds don't give the Robin some serious hell for having a name that is synonymous with crap. Poor robin.

Heh. Darren said 'Turd'.

canoelover said...

Better than Turdus fumigatus (the Cocoa Thrush).