summer_jackel: (Default)
Two Encounters

I. Woodpeckers Fledging

The acorn woodpeckers on my street
have brought one chick to fledging---
Steller’s jays took its sibling last month.
Now the child, lovely and awkward
in velvet, unmarred plumage
sits atop a telephone pole and bawls
as its parents alternately feed and peck it,
their exasperation palpable.

They take turns gliding elegantly
from pole to tree, with all the considerable
grace, precision and show of a woodpecker’s ability.
As if to say, you can do this. Feel those wings?
Clearly, you have used them at least once.
You have begun: your leaps and flight may
also end once only.
You must learn quickly how to live, my love
and yes, the world is larger than you thought.




II. Slug Sex

I’ve been looking for years,
and on this morning early in July, at last I witnessed
the courtship of banana slugs.

I noticed the length first; they were
stretched and languid in tanoak litter,
of equal size. The unmarked yellow followed
closely, brushing its spotted partner’s tail
with its radula, careful, in slowness.
I want to say “his,” thereby revealing
my own gender bias
which will not help me understand the slugs.
One may be de facto female,
but only if he did this once before,
and didn’t come out the better of it.

A long, deliberate intimacy;
each gives and receives,
though not without pain
or threat of loss.
This we have in common with the slugs, perhaps;
more likely I am reaching,
in a vain attempt to empathize with an alien act,
a perspective I cannot share,
a beauty that is not mammalian.

This much I know:
they will twine together in tanoak duff,
moist earth and slime, and winter’s rains
will call the new ones forth to tend their forest.
It will take hours; I have not the patience for the act
and am afraid to disturb them.
I admire for a voyeur’s moment and walk on,
grateful to have witnessed mystery.


***

III. Third encounter, several hours later

This was a wonderful, relaxing morning until
my brother dragged out of bed;
last night’s party ended in a fight, and
he looks like five big guys beat out the stuffing,
which is exactly what happened.

I think I know how those woodpeckers must feel.
summer_jackel: (Default)
Dogs, an empty grey beach and joy.

Photobucket

mostly dog pics, some scenery )
summer_jackel: (Default)
One vulture floats above;
it is spring, the earth is black and moist
snakes and snails, salamanders, slugs and scorpions
rest under almost every bit of fallen wood
and all the small things seethe with joy and life.


***

Woo, if any day deserved a poem, it was yesterday; they probably chose April as NaPo month for a reason. Kyn and I walked to Badger Hill (so the greater majority of a day) and turned up all sorts of wood and rocks (carefully) looking for wildlife, which we found in great abundance. We found no less than three scorpions, only one of whom was the same individual I found a couple of days ago, as well as a different rubber boa, the same baby gopher snake, and all kinds of salamanders, centipedes, millipedes, wood ants, etc. It was grand.

Photobucket

pretty collie dogs and interesting wildlife found in the debris )
summer_jackel: (Default)
It happens:
I left for a weekend and came back
and the air had changed, the trees had changed
the quality of light whispered excitedly
of spring.

I noticed the first one as an annoyance;
tiny winged thing running itself against
my computer screen.
Then I smiled when I realized
that they had come again
the little winged ones
the little crawling ones.

The ensatina I found this morning
under a piece of bark
who watched me with her moist dark eyes
who woke joy in me again
will be happy.
summer_jackel: (Default)
May you all eat, drink and be merry, enjoy the festivities and all of that. I'm having a wonderful solstice week.

'Tis the season for heartwarming cute pet photos. I think that what I got are a bunch of very honest pet photos.

Photobucket

deck the halls )
summer_jackel: (feeding jackal)
http://richarddawkins.net/article,3361,n,n

Thanks [livejournal.com profile] starchy for pointing me in the direction of this absolutely exquisite discovery which may shed light on the cambrian speciation event. Science is just so awesome, in the literal sense, and our magnificent world moreso than I am able to put into words.

Also, as long as I'm here, I should mention the pointy muzzle sticking into my armpit and the curious, soulful, piercing blue eyes looking up at me. He's an odd, quiet, quirky little dogchild. Evidence of the individual that this young being is becoming include the couch pillow that I found carefully arranged in the dog bed yesterday and the way that all of the dog and cat toys magically gravitate to the foot of my bed every morning. Coba's come home. He is going to be an amazing little companion, and I am grateful for his unique presence.

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