The holiday season is upon us, that mathematically odd time of year when ads multiply, good friendships reap dividends, and politics remain as divisive as ever. My in box and mail box swell with promises of deals so good that if I only spend enough, I can surely become rich. Buy until you’re spent! No money down!
The sporting goods catalogs promote insulated jackets so well that the market for down is up. Which reminds me how our language (and corruptions of it) can bring us cheer well before happy hour. When I hear someone say, “I am going to lay down,” I immediately visualize that person ovipositing feathers. If those speakers realized what they were saying, I think they would be willing to lie a lot more readily.
It’s late October here in Prescott, Arizona, and summer seems to be lingering, maybe loitering, as if it had nothing better to do. Frost has yet to visit, and the warm afternoons invite shorts and light shirts, somewhat to the delight of the mosquitoes, who have not given up on summer either.
But the birds are not fooled. Bald Eagles are showing up at the lakes, where the swallows are long gone. Sparrows and juncos visit the feeders, far from their breeding grounds, while orioles and grosbeaks are likely sipping the avian equivalent of margaritas south of the border. Continue reading →