Saturday, May 2, 2009

About Birds

I'm not what you'd call a bird lover. I don't have a bird feeder nor do I try to identify the many varieties that land in our yard.

When we lived in Oxnard (coastal city in California) seagulls were abundant. (Back when I hung clothes on the line outside--with five children that was a lot of clothes--sometimes the seagulls would leave a mess on the flapping clothing and I'd have to wash it all over again.) My son raised four ducklings from their eggs and they followed him around the house like he was their mother.

Now we live in the foothills of the Southern Sierra with an abundance of birds. When we first moved here giant condors still few around. That was quite a sight! Now buzzards are the frequent clean-up crew circling overhead.

Blackbirds or ravens of every variety arrive daily to eat bugs. At the moment, we have lots feeding in the field in front of our house because hubby mowed it recently.

Geese and ducks are frequent visitors too--some pause in the swimming hole created by the Tule River as it flows by the back of our property to swim and catch fish.

I do have a favorite bird--a Great Blue Heron. He is a frequent visitor too. He'll stand out in the field for hours patiently waiting for a gopher to poke its head out of a hole. He's a good hunter and catches lots.

I've written about the Great Blue Heron in a couple of my books. Unequally Yoked is one. That book has been out of print, but Mundania Press will be reissuing it soon as an e-book and trade paperback. It is part of the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series. The book following, Intervention, also mentions the Great Blue Heron and in this mystery, it has supernatural qualities.

I'm always tickled when I see one of these strange prehistoric looking birds standing on their long, skinny legs while hunting. When a Great Blue is flying, it takes on a certain grace.

For someone not particularly fond of birds, I had plenty to say about them, didn't I?

Marilyn a.k.a. F. M. Meredith

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