Waiting for lunch.

Just outside our front door sits a cement pedestal bird bath. It stands surrounded by a line of box woods, a Gardenia, a rose, various seasonal plantings, an old man’s beard tree and two crape myrtles.  All of these help create our fast food bird sanctuary.

It is a pleasure to see Tufted Tit Mousses’, Chickadees,  many Cardinal’s, Sparrows, Wrens, even an occasional miscellaneous Red Winged Black Bird ( I’m still thinking this bird was somehow displaced by whatever took out so many Black Birds up North) along with the seasonal arrival of Robins. Dale and I take a keen interest in the Cardinals as my Grandmother Franque did. They mate for life and usually their  kids hang around, perhaps even for too long, as they grow up. So we at least get to imagine we recognize the families of Cardinals we see here.

Small but the bravest in the face of our presence. Chick-a-dee,dee,dee,dee, dee.

Mr. Tuft, a bird who by song thinks he is a squirrel...

Slowly these birds learn to tolerate our presence as they individually or in a group spring to the feeders and then back again to cover right before our watching eyes. Something feels so right about being somehow connected to the life around us. And it is of interest to note these birds don’t seem to filibuster one another out of the food arena either. See? Birds of mixed feathers do stick together as well. (Listen up Congress)

And this gets me wondering. Actually we have a large Mockingbird population too. I enjoy their montages of melodious songs. Where are they? I’m thinking it just could be there is a mafia of Cardinal’s of sorts that may have staked this local turf as being out-of-bounds for nest runners? War may have no bounds after all? At any rate, we continue to feed all those fluffy feathered birds who do come along.

Then it hits me today. Am I more or less creating a well-fare state, an SSI, a Social Security or a Food Stamp program for birds? What would happen if I stopped feeding our birds? Would they all show up on some other local food, bird bath line waiting for handouts? Will I soon be over run by worms and insects since our birds no longer need to eat them? I could, in fact, be turning my whole world upside down and not know it! And of course, as you knew several paragraphs ago, this all leads me to the Grand Canyon. Say what?

(OK. I didn’t know this either.)

Ah, the Grand Canyon. It was about 12 years ago when my wife and I stole my Aunt’s car from Phoenix and drove our family up to see this wondrous sight. Sure, my aunt actually lent us her car but that still doesn’t explain the police cars I see following me now? Anyway, this canyon is truly a glorious place to view. I stood awe-struck by its size and by its scope. River rafters so far below were invisible to the naked eye and were only able to be seen through telescopes mounted on the canyon’s ridge line. As usual, I began to wonder.

A State Ranger walked up so I asked: “What made all the erosion happen?”

The Ranger looked at me who is nuts and answered: “billions of years of run-off.”

“So the water was up to the top ground level at one time?”

“Yes.” I could tell he wanted to leave the crazy guy as soon as possible.

Hey look! It's me-without feet!

“How high are we here?” Just asking.

“OH, around 6800 feet above sea level.” This Ranger knows her facts.

“SO- at one time this water here at 6800 ft was even to another body of water, to stand here as it did back then?”

“Hmm, not sure about that.” I feel our minds merging.

“Well maybe it was always, since forever, running out through here from some where into some other lower land area. I guess any lower land area would eventually get filled up?” Still just asking.

“Sure.” The Ranger makes her escape as I watch her go through the crowd around us.

So, I think it odd. The Colorado runs enough to cut a gorge almost a mile deep or so for a billion years. But, I’m just saying, where did all that water come from, and where did it go? Was everything below this canyon’s 6800 feet above sea level top once under water everywhere on our planet? Were other bodies of water keeping the Colorado River water of today level at 6800 feet above sea level way back then before ‘a dike’ burst or something? Questions, so many right?

Just a little bit of a run-off problem.

I almost imagine the Earth being as described by creation stories. I envision the Earth surrounded by a vast cloud cover, a cloud cover bursting into water vapor and filling all the Earth’s low laying areas by emptying its entire contents through this vast gorge now known as the Grand Canyon. Picture the sky as a vast pitcher of water, just pouring and pouring out its contents of water until our oceans were full, all of it through the Grand Canyon. It could be?

As usual our sense or reality about this Grand Canyon ‘run off’ idea is as well grounded as our sense of Time, Space, our sense of purpose and our beliefs about our true beginnings and endings are. We simply exist in a Swiss Cheese sense of reality all the time.  Who can’t find an older piece of human bone than the one we currently have ? I’m just asking.  It’s all , our ideas and most meaningful theories about time, space and our Earth’s history, a crap shoot, just saying.

You see? We don't have a clue as to how many it takes to tip our World, the 'boat' or say, the platform!

It all takes me back to a time I wasn’t really present at. It’s the moment a young boy, say six or so, asked a question to my wife as he saw the ocean for the very first time in his life. He simply stared out across the ocean’s horizon and wondered out loud: “Who put all that water in there?” Good question.

Where's the faucet?

I’m thinking this boy seems to be starting to ask the right questions at a very young age. Maybe this little guy will be President one day? It could happen-anything is possible.

So I’ll continue to feed the birds and let my thoughts flutter around as they do.  It feels nice to sit here watching them fly, eat, sing and then wing away again to safety-this I’m certain of.

Franque      ps—-


My sister sends these photos from the land of people who don’t realize it’s cold up North:

I've decided to go into the bird coat business


And now I'm thinking : What about Bird Umbrellas? These might sell well?

Still- Franque