Saturday, June 15, 2013

Attacked by a Bird!

 This morning was pleasantly gray, fine for a walk until...ta da...a bird suddenly flew into my head. I don't know why. I don't look like a glass door, do I? I'm hardly tall enough to resemble an eagle's aerie. I just stood there, stunned by the blow and watched as two birds--one small and one large--kept flying over to rest in a tree near the elevator.

 It was odd. Maybe the smaller bird was being chased by the larger and wasn't watching where he was going. I began to take a few shots of the grain elevator against the gray sky while my scalp recovered, and suddenly that bird flew straight toward me again. I snapped his picture as he approached, then ducked and he sailed right over my head.

Once again, as he turned away, I saw that he was chasing a smaller bird. I don't know if they were playing tag, and the tree was base, but the big, bad, bird was definitely "IT". Leaving the area, I snapped a few more pictures and hurried home, eager to see if I had managed to get a picture of the bird before I ducked. Sure enough. There he is. He's a little camouflaged by the tree behind him, but you can see the approach.

If he had looked over my shoulder, he would have seen this old railroad track---a much better landing strip than my head!

UPDATE: Since I wrote this, I talked with some friends and also did a little research. The bird is a "Mississippi Kite" a bird of prey like a falcon. It does chase smaller birds and it also attacks humans if it perceives them as a threat. I was probably within twenty feet of his nest, hence the attack. Here is a link that discusses the Kite as a bird that does, in fact, live in Oklahoma:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Deadwood Forest and the Eastern Heights

I made a marvelous discovery today while mowing in the Deadwood Forest. Under the swooping branches of Grand ole Pecan, uncomfortably near the beached whale, (Please, don't ask me what a beached whale was doing in a forest; it's a mystery. Leave it at that.) I spotted a fragment of old parchment. The runes and diagrams were difficult to decipher, but I managed to read " to tie a rapala knot'. Thinking this might refer to a magic rope, I switched on the rope-detecting antennae. Sure enough, hanging from one of the lowest branches, was a knotted rope. Someone had been practicing. Upon turning the parchment over, however, I was able to decipher another phrase, "How to tune a rapala." Could it be that a rapala is a musical instrument, maybe the same one that lured the poor whale to his death here under the overhanging branches in Deadwood Forest?

The crude fish-shaped diagram on the paper fragment seemed to bear that out.

It was all too dark and drastic--an early morning mystery shrouded in a riddle cloaked in a puzzle under the shadow of an enigma.

I decided it was time for that second cup of coffee.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

All is Never Quiet on the Western Front

I wish I could say that everything was quiet out on the Western Wilds this morning, but alas, things are never quiet on the Western Front. (Not even historically.)*
My lawn ship kept bumping into a steady barrage of asteroids and trash excreted by the messy Sycamore planets, not the least of which were puffball mines.
Being near the skylane, I had to watch for large transport vessels with solitary, sleepy pilots at the wheels. It was a clattering chore.

Cedar Flats, on the other hand, was very calm--deceptively calm, it turned out. They came at me with the little-understood sinus attack and I was forced to retreat to the fortress for supplies. Since I had no white flag to raise (I had used it already at the onset of the sneeze barrage) I was pursued and pelted with cedar histamines. Whew. What a morning!

*Yes, that's a thinly-veiled allusion to California.
Go ahead and protest, Californians, because in doing so, you will only prove my point.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Adventures in Mowing the Lawn

I've given official titles to all the sections of my lawn: The Northern Steppes; The Southern Slopes, The Eastern Heights, The Western Wilds, Deadwood Forests, Tomato Garden, Cedar Flats, and The Back Forty. 
(Lest you farmers give me more credit than is due, that's forty feet--not acres.)

If I don't safely navigate my star ship through each level of lawn, I'm not a worthy "Narnian Ninja" and will not be allowed to travel with "The Nine". 

This morning was adventurous: On the Southern Slopes, my starship was nearly enmeshed in the web of an untidy Dish spider. Fortunately, I was able to disentangle the vehicle and dump the web fragments into the Blue Abyss just before the Abyss Scavenger came roaring by to slurp it away. I know this means I may meet the angry steel Dish Spider to be very cautious on the Southern Slopes next week.

...and yes, I was that child who sank battleship cookie sheets in the dishwater and rescued poor, drowning spoons.