Pretty bird

A cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) perched on a branch (20080426_04651)

Would you begrudge me the chance to see the beauty you display when a mate you find and upon a branch the two of you pass flowers to each other, feed each other, and rub bills?  Would you think me a voyeur for letting my eyes rest a while on that scene?

A cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) perched on a branch (20080426_04652)

Did you feel me intrusive when, after I spied you and your friends dashing about the treetops, I gave chase and followed you through the thicket and woods?  Or did you notice the camera and, at least for an instant, stop to show off your unrivaled splendor?

A cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) perched on a branch (20080426_04656)

Even as you held me with disadvantage through your erratic flits from treetop to treetop, always moving further uphill as I scampered along beneath, and even as your kith and kin scurried about on waxy wings through branches and foliage thick, more than once you drew near enough to meet my eyes from behind your dark mask.  Then away, away you flew, away toward what meal of fruit you might find for breakfast.

And I felt grateful for the encounter, brief though it was.

[Cedar waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum); although ubiquitous at White Rock Lake and something I’ve seen before, I drooled at the chance to capture an image or two of these magnificently exquisite birds; they offered me just such a chance last Saturday]

It begins where it ends

Read the last chapter first, but don’t read the last page.  Save that for later.

Thus begins “The Kingswell Chronicle” with Dreamdarkers.

My attention has focused on the first major rewrite of this novel, my first of many, and throughout I have searched within the confines of my own imagination to discover the secret of this tale, the magnificent truth of what Dreamdarkers begins by way of Dave Lloyd’s writ.

Now I have the answer.

The whole of the ordeal never escaped me, mind you, yet how one thing might lead to another remained a mystery.  Dare I begin at the end and tell a story in reverse?  Or dare I spin a yarn that must needs start with a finish only to foretell a commencement?

What this book says introduces a whole by way of a conclusion, one that demands a beginning without revealing what rests betwixt the two.

I thought it was important to write this.  I thought it was important to document our ordeal.  I really thought it was important.  I’ve witnessed the end of the world.  I can’t help but feel I’ve done a moderately poor job of making clear precisely how terrible things have been.  I suppose at this point it doesn’t really matter.  I know what I have to do.  Now I just need to do it.

To what does Dave refer?  Only by reading Dreamdarkers will you know.

The story that follows this introduction, of course, is an account that births itself via the existence he explains in Dreamdarkers, an introduction that begins where his story ends, an introduction that speaks of the very culmination that End of the Warm Season will inaugurate.

A new light shines upon “The Kingswell Chronicle” that heretofore remained in shadow.

A new inspiration befalls an author that escaped him until this moment.

A new dedication to a dream rests upon my shoulders.

Prepare yourselves, poppets, for “The Kingswell Chronicle” has truly just begun…

Babies in da house

The family farm has enjoyed a veritable explosion of births recently.  There are more calves than I can shake a stick at.

And what devilishly, marvelously enchanting creatures they are, so full of verve and vigor, so young and cute.  They dash about the pastures in leaps and bounds, often ignoring their mothers’ attempts to assert control.

Here’s a small sampling of the babies I photographed almost two weeks ago.

Calves at the family farm (20080414_03486)
Calves at the family farm (20080414_03482)
Calves at the family farm (20080414_03503)
Calves at the family farm (20080414_03491)
Calves at the family farm (20080414_03494)

[edited to correct the typo xocobra so politely drew my attention to in the comments]

Am I silly for crying?

It goes without saying that I possess a rather sensitive emotional self, one seemingly at odds with the logical part of me that demands objective detachment when facing life’s tribulations.

So why then do I weep prolifically when I face such moments?

A female mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos) with a deformed leg (20080314_02694)

A female mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos) with a deformed leg.

I watched her for some time as she hopped along the shore of an island within Sunset Bay’s confluence.  She rested, she moved along, she interacted with the other mallards and she stumbled across uneven ground.

Rejected by her kind as they avoided her without sympathy, I wept even as I knew I could do nothing to help her.

Despite her deformity, she seemed able to navigate the world sans too much trouble.

‘Too much’ being the operative term, however, as I witnessed the anguish of her stumbling and her discomfort with being unable to follow her kind with the ease they so readily demonstrated.  Likewise, I witnessed how her fellow mallards shunned her, chased her away with able bodies even as she trembled on one limb trying to escape.

A male great-tailed grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) with a deformed foot (20080420_04240)

A male great-tailed grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) with a deformed foot.

He seemed able, even mated with a female who never left his side.

Yet I watched him struggle upon a bent and crooked foot, one incapable of grasping a twig for steadiness, one not able to support steady weight upon a dry stone.  He hopped unlike his brethren who walk from foot to foot.  He tripped at least once as I looked after his progress.

Gripping the edge of a rock with only one foot as he leaned toward the water’s surface for a drink, he tripped and fell, nearly dunking his full form into the water below.  In defiance, he grabbed a twig, a bit of nest material, beckoned to his love, then flew off with her by his side.  Yet I knew the trouble facing him once he reached the tree that held their hope for a future generation.

A crested Indian runner (Anas platyrhynchos) with six-pack rings wrapped around his neck and head (IMG_20080106_01074)

A crested Indian runner (Anas platyrhynchos) cursed with the heartlessness of humanity.

First seen by me and others near year’s end with this wretched curse tied about his head, many joined me in asking for help from organizations specialized in rescuing such creatures.

Yet none have seen him since the first week of January.  None can speak to his wellbeing.

All because he stood wounded by the careless trap of people.

I wonder if I am silly for crying, for lamenting the state of these creatures, for the weeping of my own soul in response to the suffering of life.