Monday, March 22, 2010

GROUNDED

A rather damp, dreary day here along the river, with light showers, off and on, since sometime before dawn. Heavier rains are predicted for this afternoon, tonight, and early tomorrow. The temperature is going the wrong way, too; 39˚F currently, which is four degrees cooler than it was at 6:00 a.m.
Actually, this might prove a blessing in disguise, since I won't be able to get out and work in the yard. I'm not sure my back can take another day of raking up winter's debris, restacking firewood, moving stones, or digging new planting beds. I'm already to the point where the pain pills have no effect whatsoever. A weather-induced rest, and time to heal, may be God's way of forcing common sense on an otherwise hopeless case.
The yard geese have just ambled up the bank to see whether I tossed them any tidbits from breakfast. (Nope.) I will give them a scoop of cracked corn as soon as I finish this post. In the meantime, they can pluck at my grass and give me the evil eye through the window all they want—but I'm not going to become their flunky.
An hour ago I looked out the front window and saw a treetop full of turkey vultures. So late in the morning, it was obvious they'd been grounded by the weather. While not exactly early birds, most days the vulture contingent is up and away by mid-morning.
Actually there were several trees with vulture-littered crowns—I counted 73 sitting birds total, among four adjacent trees—plus more in the air, flapping from limb to limb or tree to tree, sometimes making a quick glide circle over the river or around a few additional trees before settling back down among the clan. Occasionally one of the vultures would spread it's wings into a classic drying/sunning pose…but only for a moment, since there was no warming sun and no hope of drying out damp feathers; all a poor buzzard could to accomplish was to chill his wingpits and appear even sillier than normal.
My funereal-cloaked neighbors looked bored by their forced rest—restless, anxious to get a'wing and off, soaring high, on the lookout for a tasty morsel of ripe roadkill. I know the feeling. I'm also anxious to get out and about myself—though I'm hurting too badly to do anything useful. I still want to be on the move, driving along a rural backroad, looking for wildflowers or spring buds, birds, critters, stopping to peer over bridges spanning country brooks and seeing if I can spot fish or tadpoles in the pools.
Spring has sprung, even if the weather has taken a backtrack. I don't want miss a moment.
———————

26 comments:

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ

Once again, your weather is similar if not exact to ours. There was a fog across the pond and woods edge - against stiull barren trees wondering when their time will come to bloom.

I so loved your pictures and your details of life and weather on your river. We too must venture to the shed and pull out the clearing tools, rakes and shovels and all of our garden decor and trinkets. Next week.

Sorry your back, like mine can only do so much - and that the weather has forced you to rest up for a day. I so love your world. In a different time and place I could settle in.

Love to you
Gail
peace......

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Oh these enforced rest periods are a pain, aren't they? While exploring will have to be delayed, you are lucky to have such an amazing up-front seat to so many wonders on your river. Wonder even seems to waddle up to your doorstep!!

Do take care ... hope the pain lessens soon.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

Our weather does seem to hold to a similar pattern, in spite of geographically and climatologically in fairly distant places. I expect I'm a week or so ahead of you so far as season goes—though maybe not. I have crocus and daffodils now in bloom in the yard—crocus for nearly two weeks, daffodils just began three days ago.

The river is in good shape and I can probably catch fish. Heavy rain later today will change that, of course. Birds are singing. And the grass is definitely greener than last week.

This is a good place, and I'm sure you'd like it.

Bernie said...

Sorry to hear that you are having back pain....but like that you recognize that you should rest it before finishing up your yard work.
I envy your Spring weather, in fact our weather is more winter like now than two weeks ago. I am okay with it though as I know it won't last....Spring will soon be here as well.
Enjoy the wonderful creatures your river draws close to you and your family......then share them with us in your wonderful blog, I love it my friend.....:-) Hugs

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bonnie…

Not only does it waddle up to my doorstep, it leaves its calling card which I must take great care to avoid! Moreover, Mr. and Mrs. Wonder stare at me through the window and honk at me for reasons only they understand.

And yeah, enforced rest is too much like a gilded cage—nice, but no thanks. Back pain or not, I have to break out every so often.

The Solitary Walker said...

Take it easy for a day or two... Grounded is good!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

One can't feel too bad with spring in the air—even if the air is colder than the days before and damp, the sky gray, and the ol' body (what's left of it) is one big solid ache.

Your spring will find its way to you, too, and soon. Have faith. Take care.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Solitary…

Grounded is NOT good…and I refuse to mind. I've already gimped up the hill to the mail box (about a dozen feet above the level of the cottage) and following that minor success—as excruciating as it was—intend forthwith to drag myself into the pickup and go for a drive.

The Solitary Walker said...

Just keep an eye on those vultures...

;)

Jenn Jilks said...

You know, I was about to pick up the axe and go at a stump...I changed my mind!

I might go moose hunting (photographically-speaking!) Thursday, once my volunteer chores are out of the way!

I, too, put my back out and realized that I should listen to the pain.

Tramp said...

There's plenty to see as well as plenty to do.
Tramp

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Solitary…

Pretty easy to do with nary a green leaf anywhere. A vulture clan is hard to overlook, huddled above like oversized dark ornaments on an Addams Family Christmas tree.

Actually, they think it's their job to keep an eye on me, seeing as how I'm sort of their landlord.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jenn…

Forget the axe; concentrate on the chair and the moose and whatever fun/relaxing/worthwhile projects the spring might bring. That stump won't go anywhere. Wait until you're angry and need to whack something…and could use some possible rest time afterwards to nurse along any subsequent back injury.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Tramp…

Indeed…and plenty more on down the road, from which I've just returned, more or less intact, or as intact as I was when I left. More or less…

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Sorry about your back. I guess it is telling you that it's time for rest.

SEVENTY-THREE Turkey Vultures???
I would be in heavevn! I still haven't seen my FOY back up here. Can't wait.

Wanda said...

Late Sunday afternoon, as I went out the door, I counted 33 turkey vultures passing over, they were headed northeast, maybe to your place!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Lynne…

Actually, several more than the 73 as there were birds in the air trading places while I was trying to count. And there could have been others I didn't see on the back side of the big trees, lower down, etc.

Re. back, thank you, but I think backs are best ignored if you can stand the pain. :-)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

Could have been—I'm thinking I'm on the vulture "must visit" list or something. But I like them as much as they seem to like me. They're always welcome.

Kay said...

Hi! Maybe I like your blog so much because I too live on a river. It's very different from yours, except for the Great Blue Heron (love the title picture!) and the fact that it's spring and that we had But really it's because you write well and your pictures are very good! I'm a beginner at both blogging and photography and look to your blog as a good example. (Hope your back gets better soon.)

Kelly said...

...hope your back is feeling better soon. Back pain is the worst. As for the weather, today is miserable. Spending a week in Florida has lowered my resistance to the gloom. Soon enough, though spring will melt through. I hope!!!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Kay…

I'm tempted to say that all rivers—and thus by extension all those who dwell beside them—are alike. That's not quite true, even when talking about rivers and creeks in my limited corner of Ohio—let alone Texas. But we riverbankers are cut from the same cloth, and no matter the differences in character and nature of our homeside streams, we have a great deal in common.

I don't know any Texas river much beyond crossing them along a highway…but I've had a special fondness for any Lone Star stream ever since I read the account of a canoe float down the Brazos in "Goodbye to a River," by John Graves, which is one of my all-time favorite books. I'm sure you're familiar with that work as it's deservedly a minor classic, at least, for anyone who loves the outdoors and good writing.

I'm glad you enjoy both the writing and photography here. I don't know that I'm all that much of an example; I simply do the best I can manage on a given day and try to be both honest and myself.

Don't worry about being a newcomer, time will soon cure that consideration. Thank you for your kind words…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Kelly…

I've had back problems since high school. Playing football didn't help. Then there were a couple of accidents. A year of rodeo. More accidents and injuries. Plus a family history of serious arthritis that stretches back at least five generations—and diagnosis of it in my own spinal column when I was sixteen. Me and back pain are old mates. It ranges from "so bad you almost pass out from moving" to "grit your teeth, suck it up, and do it anyway." On really good days it simply sits over there on the edge of my conscious, never quite gone, but not actively trying to turn me into Jello.

I'm also there today. I've been out on a walk and will head out again in just a few minutes. And hey…this thin haze is marvelous light for photography! Even if you have been to Florida while the rest of us stayed in Ohio. :-D

Take care. Enjoyed your last couple of pieces—especially the one with the eagles nesting.

Robin said...

This makes me giggle.

My husband, Jay has a job that requires him to drive north through Wisconsin where he sees many more critters than we do here in Chicago.

We were out eating the other day and were talking about spring coming and the birds returning to the Garden Center where I work.

He said, the McTurkey Burger's coming back, which kind of stopped me. I knew he liked the McRib when they showed up on McDonalds menu but I had no idea they had a turkey burger or that my red -meat eating husband would want one.

Then I burst out laughing when I realized what he HAD said... My Turkey Vultures are coming back. He watched them all last fall while he was driving.

I laughed so hard it took me minutes to tell him why.

Needless to say, they've been renamed in our household.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Robin…

Sounds as if you have a perfectly good husband to me—enjoys red meat and watching turkey vultures, and like most of us, occasionally manages to furnish inadvertent humor to his wife. God knows, you have to love us, we're so entertaining! And your husband obviously took it well since you're still bubbling with amusement. (There's probably a Red Green observation to be made here, but I'll not go there.)

So what is it you now call these noble birds around your place…McTurkey Buzzards?

Great story. Gave me a good laugh. Thank you!

Robin said...

Nope. McTurkey Burgers. Got a text just today telling me he hadn't seen any.....

Glad you got a laugh!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Robin…

Huh, doesn't surprise me. You're dealing with wise birds. Solemn creatures with a sense of dignity and decorum. They have their pride. It's bad enough that you laughed at them in a sort of roundabout way…but to muddle the issue with both a fast-food sandwich and a semi-flightless bird that is rumored to be prone to drowning during the rain, because the foolish featherdusters stand in their pen and stare up at the sky, beak a'gape.

Your offended buzzards are showing their indignation by doing the only thing they can—boycotting your husband's route. I believe your best hope is to have your husband run over things along the highway, collect their bloody carcass and place them in the trunk, and when he has a sufficient pile, place said pile in neat rows in an open field as a peace and forgiveness offering.

For now, you're definitely off their "A" list.