Yesterday was an amber morning here at Goose Lake. The sun came up mellow. There was no wind. Ducks quietly drew lines across the water like they were solving a geometry problem. The breakfast room table became part of the landscape.
I learned that the new edition of SOMETHING ABOUT THE AUTHOR is out. The editor sent me a pdf of my article in it. The book costs $245 so I’m afraid it won’t find its way into many homes!
I spent the morning working on a new story. It stinks, but not as much as it stank when I started. In the afternoon I did a school visit and told the kids my story stinks but it’s only the fourth draft and has a long way to go. My goal today is to make it start smelling better, maybe even good.
It’s that time of year when migrating birds sometimes pause around Goose Lake on their way to winter quarters. Yesterday a band of robins stopped in our back yard for a while to drink from small pools of water accumulated from a recent shower. Some took a quick bath while they had a chance. One, I was sorry to see, broke its neck flying into one of our windows and died on the patio.
Mixed in with the robins were other kinds of birds. I don’t know if they were traveling together all the way but it looked that way. I saw three blue jays and three other species that I couldn’t identify for sure. I needed Sneed Collard to tell me what they were. One might have been a cedar waxwing and another, maybe, was a brown-headed cowbird. There was another kind of jay-looking bird that had a tufted crown but was light tan colored. I think another could have been a lark bunting.
Whatever these strangers were, I’ve never seen them in our yard before so I assume they we passing through with the robins. Some robins migrate as much as one thousand miles to reach climes where they can switch from their usual summer diet of worms to a winter fare of fruit. Maybe their travel mates read the same brochures. Too bad that one of the group got no father than Goose Lake.
Less than a week after the yard guys cleaned up the leaves on our yard, this was the scene yesterday on a windy, gray afternoon.
This sent the squirrels working at top speed, the chipmunk dashing nervously here and there, Sandy vacuuming the driveway, and me carting patio furniture to the garage. For such small, fragile things, leaves have a profound influence on their environment!
Great artists sometimes are forced to forgo the joy of work in order to record for posterity the labors of others. For example: