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Archive for February 22nd, 2007

I was right, the tree trimming guys were out there. It was quite amazing to watch them as they went about their business. There was the owner of the company, who is not as young, light and agile as he used to be, so he no longer climbs trees. He has minion for that, and the minion is extremely good at his job. He climbs the trees with tree spikes and a safety harness, he keeps himself belayed from a sturdy branch nearby so if he falls he only swings out a few feet over space. He never fell that I saw, although there were a couple of times he purposely let go of the tree and swung out over the empty space below, for no other purpose than it was fun.

Mike was completely freaked out by seeing a PERSON up in the top of a TREE — it was just All Wrong. I wish I had a video of him as he peered up and out of the windows at what was evidently our own personal version of “Nighmare on Elm Street.” Eventually, he could not even stay in the house to watch this horror, he had leave the premises completely and made an undignified and precipitous exit over the fence. He did not come back until their truck had left the driveway.

The cat was not the only denizen of the yard that thought all this trimming was extraneous. I was out by my clothesline taking in my laundry after the trimmers had left for the day. Suddenly, the female Cooper’s hawk stooped on my position from high above me. I had no warning, just the sound of the wind whistling over her wings accompanied by a faint rattle caused by her primary flight feathers in the wind of her descent. When she reached the height of my head, she arrested her stoop, a move that was accompanied by a sharp snap as she spread her wings. I felt the wind of her wings on my cheek as she soared the short distance to the fallen scotch pine.

She lit there momentarily, pausing only long enough to turn and glare at me fiercely. It was obvious that she knew exactly who was responsible for all the disturbance in the yard. Then she ruffled her feathers and flew up to inspect the large yellow pines that the arborists had just attended to. The broken branches had been removed, the leader trimmed of its shattered top. She looked the trees over, cast another disapproving glance in my direction and flew off over the line of trees that make the north border of the property. She landed in an oak back there, probably hoping that the finches and sparrows would forget she had been there so she could grab a meal.

All I could think was that I was very glad that she was not aiming for my head when she descended in her stoop. I believe having my hair snatched out by an angry hawk would not have been particularly pleasant. As it was, the near presence of her foray was magical and impressive.

Later in the afternoon, the migrators arrived. Every tree all around the place, and the power lines were occupied by the mixed flock of redwinged blackbirds and grackles that arrived just before the sun began to set. They gather in the trees around here, and then at dusk dive into the cedar woods that is down by the pond to sleep for the night.

There was a female bluebird inspecting the nest box by the orchard this afternoon. I got my peas and spring lettuces planted today too. So I guess it must be officially spring.

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There are no typical days in my life, I discovered when I began to think about making a diary entry.   I have been motivated to do this by Bloglily’s post reviewing a book she just read, “Our Hidden Lives: The Everyday Lives of a Forgotten Britain 1945-1948.  She followed this by posting her own version of a diary entry.

I looked back through my archives and discovered that I have many posts that would count as a diary entry, but I thought since I have been deep into reminiscence lately that I ought to write a post that is strictly a diary entry.  And so, to work.

We woke up uncharacteristically early this morning, since J has agreed to go out and work for B for a couple of days.   B is building a 60×100 foot shop building on his property out of lumber they made last summer from trees he culled on his 80 acre property.  He has had a bad infestation of red oak borers, and rather than let them ruin the lumber, he cut down the trees that were infected.   Last summer J worked for him running his portable saw mill.  

Today, since there is no wind and no ice, they plan to install the other half of the roof.  We lost a drill to that job last December when one of our friends dropped J’s beautiful cordless drill 16 feet onto the concrete slab floor of the building.   That accident reminded us all of how important it is to be careful when clambering around on the trusses horsing 36′ long sheets of metal roofing into place.  

Anyway, we actually set the alarm clock last night so we would wake up in a timely fashion.  We don’t usually do this, since the way our life is scheduled we can allow ourselves to wake up naturally, as the sun starts to illuminate our bedroom and the robins and cardinals sit outside our window and sing about whose tree this is and how beautiful the day is.

J hopped out of bed first, and I heard the coffee roaster start.   We forgot to roast coffee last night.   We went out to dinner and then came home and practiced our dancing lessons.  We have gotten pretty good at two-step now, and the movements and turns of the waltz are starting to make sense.   Once again we have resolved to replace the carpet in the family-dining room with hardwood floor so that we will have a proper dance floor to practice on.  Right after we finish replacing our ancient, leaky and inefficient windows.  I ordered the next phase of those yesterday, too, bravely committing to an expenditure that makes me cringe just a little inside.   And there are two phases after this one.   But it will be worth it.

So, we breakfasted on leftover steak (from last night) and eggs, with scones I made yesterday.   Then he left for work.  As he exited the house, Smokey came in for the second time this morning.   Every day I make a resolution to keep a tally of how many times that cat requires the door to be opened for his convenience, but I never manage to keep track all day long.  

I spend a little time on line, visiting the Astronomy Picture of the Day, reading Jon Carroll’s column in the San Francisco Chronicle online — today it is a beautiful and inspiring meditation on what made Abraham Lincoln such a great president.  I reply to a comment I found on my blog, check my “blog stats” eagerly.   I am sad:  I only had 44 hits yesterday, down from 131 the day before.  I was riding on such a high:  there was a lot of interest ingendered by Gordon Wright’s death and my posts about the Arctic Chamber Orchestra.  Fame is so fleeting. 

Soon the tree trimmers we hired to prune the storm damaged trees will be here.   I expect that poor Mike will be beside himself once again, he just absolutely hates equipment, chainsaw noise and strangers walking around in his domain.  

Later I have a busy day of massage ahead of me.   One person has had her mother-in-law die earlier this week.  I am sure that dealing with her husband’s stress and suppressed emotions will have created quite a physical “situation” for her.  I will definitely be sending some healing energy to that family.  One of my clients scheduled today recently returned from Chile and I am hoping that she brought me a little rock from there.   I have received some beautiful stones from St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands lately, but I am light on South American rocks in the labyrinth.   Of course, there is always the possibility that she didn’t remember to bring me one, and after all, she is a massage client not my personal rock messenger.   But you never know, she has been very good on other trips she has taken.  I have beautiful rocks from Dover that she brought me, also some from a vineyard in Bordeaux. 

But I believe I hear trucks outside.  So I must leave to begin my day.

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