Saturday, May 20, 2006

i was attacked by a rednecked mother flicker 

flickerthis is a harrowing true story. the other day (i forgot which one) i was poking around in the dirt in my salad patch; which is not to far from the edge of the woods (about 20 feet). as i was walking away from the lettuce beds on my way to inspect my fledgling turnips and fucking goddamed snow peas i sensed something strange at my back.

me, being seriously paranoid and easily aroused by danger, dove face first into the wet grass, rolled on my side, withdrew my salad patch defense weapon (a 1858 stainless steel 44 caliber buffalo revolver) from my oak camo victory garden bandolier holster and began firing wildly into the nearby fauna. emptying all chambers. i've practiced this evasive self defense maneuver many times. a blue jay let out a "shrill, harsh, descending scream" and went careening off into forest in horror. a large grey squirrel stood up in an ashe tree, tottered briefly yet gallantly, and toppled off its branch into a thorny bramble below. shot straight through its tiny ticker i found it laying near death with its little furry paws over it's once innocent beating heart. A small tear rolled down it's furry face and in it's last momments, as the dark fingers of death settled upon its brow, the little critter looked up at me in the flickering light of a warm afternoon as if to say - "ah, nuts".

not really. i just made up that last part. back to the goddamned snow peas...

anyway... as i said, i was walking away from my lettuce bed when i felt something clawing and fluttering - as if it were trying to crawl up my back or trying to crawl up under the shirt i was wearing. i'm sure you want to hear all about the shirt i was wearing... so - i was wearing an unbuttoned work shirt over a tee shirt and it was kind of blowing whispily (in a manly outdoorsman way) in the country breeze (it was all very bucolic and rural and stuff) when i noticed something trying to get a grip on me from behind. as i said earlier: something clawing at my back. then, out of the corner of my eye i noticed the shadow on the ground before me being cast over my left shoulder. the shadow of two big wings fanned out from behind me! Casting their ominous presence on the bucolic pastoral ground before me. all this happened in a matter of seconds but the first thing that came to my mind was ----- OH MY GOD!!!! IT'S THE RAPTURE!! IT'S REALLY HAPPENING TO ME!!!!...

...but then i regained my senses (so to speak) and turned around and saw an enormous bird (about the size of a pigeon) running away from me on the grass about four feet away. what the hell? that's what i really thought too. "what the hell."

at first i thought the winged thing running away from me in the grass was a grouse. grouse sometimes fly into the sides of buildings or fences or car winshields just for the screwy hell of it. i've seen it happen several screwy times myself. they'll just come careening out of a hedgerow or stand of pine or whatever it is and crash head first into the first thing they crash into. mostly with tragic results. grouse are kind of crazy, or screwy, like that. but whatever....

so i followed this bird as she hopped away and jumped up onto a section of fence nearby. and there she sat looking at me as if to say --- owww, i wish i hadn't done that.

so i walked up to her and squatted down next to her and looked at her for a while and found out she was a Flicker. She looked pretty dazed... like she wasn't going anywhere soon... so i said "wait right here, i'm gonna go get my camera; would you like anything from the refrigerator while i'm down at the house?" she didn't look too amused so i headed off for the camera. I figured she'd probably have flown off by the time i got done actually looking for and finding the camera (i wasn't even sure i owned a camera - especially one with actual camera film in it - but luckily i did) and when i ran back up into the back lot she was still there. eventually she jumped down from her fence perch and started walking around and so i followed her around taking her picture. she didn't seem too anxious to fly off and i was hoping i wasn't gonna have to nurse a friggin whiplashed flicker back to health or sumpin' (i was only kidding about the refrigerator). but then i tapped her on her tail feathers and she flew off and landed about 30 feet away.

happy endings

flyinf flickeri let her be after that. let her alone for about a half an hour and when i came back she was gone. i checked the woods nearby because there is a large stand of old trees that the woodpeckers have turned into woodpecker hotels (flickers will sometimes nest in old woodpecker digs) but i never did see her again. which is too bad i think. maybe someday we'll run into each other again (in a manner of speaking) and have a good laugh about it all.

that would be nice.

4 John at archy has a story about crows.

4 and pansypoo id's a catbird as well a stumbling upon a DEAD BABY BUNNY crime scene!!!!!

Later in the week i will be discussing some of the various unusual items Labrador Retrievers will process through their digestive systems: assorted refrigerator magnets, molded plastic dinosours, toads, futon sofas, and Marti Gras beads.... among other colorful migrations. Be sure to stay tuned for that exciting episode. You don't wanna miss that.



Far out on the desert to the north dustspouts rose wobbling and augered the earth and some said they'd heard of pilgrims borne aloft like dervishes in those mindless coils to be dropped broken and bleeding upon the desert again and there perhaps to watch the thing that had destroyed them lurch onward like some drunken djinn and resolve itself once more into the elements from which it sprang. Out of that whirlwind no voice spoke and the pilgrim lying in his broken bones may cry out and in his anguish he may rage, but rage at what? And if the dried and blackened shell of him is found among the sands by travelers to come yet who can discover the engine of his ruin? ~ Cormac McCarthy Blood Meridian

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