Thursday, April 15, 2010

Finches on the sock feeder - I want to cup them in my hand, just touch their tiny heads with a forefinger. Live, in person, not six feet away, you see their miracle. Their intricacy. The pair of them, golden male and more subtly colored female, feed together. Their style is to take a seed in the beak and look up while they eat it. Looking around, I'd guess, watching or predators.

My little feeder is hung on a rather delicate branch that the Mu's (a neighbor's twin black cats) cannot climb. It hangs under other branches, so you wouldn't think a hawk could get through to grab the birds. I try to imagine life when you are so delicate, so small. In children's books, very small things have secret cities and palaces of green. I once wanted to write a book, for adults, that would present rabbits - well, bunnies as I thought of them - who lived in a bean field. How it would be to be in there when it rained. I didn't stop to think about how the beans would eventually be harvested. Maybe I could make it an abandoned farm. Farms and gardens do get abandoned. We once were in a CSA with some young women who were doing intensive organic farming. The food they gave us every week taught us what food is, how vegetables could taste. But they had to give it up - exhausting, and not enough money in it.

So these rabbits set up cautiously, once they see that this field is being let to go its own way. It's just an acre, but to them it's huge. Rabbits have been done masterfully in Watership Down, stray thought. What will happen of course . . . what would happen? There would be a kid who discovered the self-seeded carrots, the thrill of pulling them up and taking them home. A story there, that kid's story. There would be a family that moved in after a while, maybe a single mother and kid, maybe the same kid and his mother. They had to move out of where they were, she is barely earning enough money for milk, working part time at the Dairy Queen. They are squatters. What about the all-important running water and toilet? Electricity. Heat as winter comes on. Children's stories today address things like that with less sentiment than they once did.

An unbelievably beautiful day. Creative energy high, wants to go all over the place. This is my hour to let it do that.

[image: from Claire's Photostream. The sock feeder is on a window, with a suction cup, so she is right up close to the male goldfinch. I wonder if he's changing from winter color in the photo - they get more golden down the chest. See how easy it is to cling with those tiny claws on the net in the sock feeder, which has holes just big enough to let a bird pluck out a tiny seed, but not big enough for seeds to fall out on their own.]
May all beings enjoy such wonderful food.

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