Friday, September 5, 2008

On Not Doing What You Need to be Doing

Finding useful ways to avoid doing what you really should be doing can sometimes be difficult. Yesterday such a way fell into my lap, or into my backyard i should say.

The birds were having a convention in the yard in the afternoon. A very democratic gathering it was, too. I recognized all of the different types who were gathered. But then suddenly this strange new bird appeared, and not just one of them: two of them. Far bigger then even the pigeon that occasionally loses the parking lot he is looking for and settles down in the yard to gather strength for the rest of his journey.

I was taking care of a chore that needed doing but that I would have given anything not to be doing and those birds gave me an out. I spent a very enjoyable hour perusing all kinds of bird identification material. My guest birds did me the favor of hanging around, and sure enough I found their mug shots: quails. And through identifying them I got my second out: now I needed to spend time wondering about why this was the first time they had come to visit. Were they going to make this a regular thing? Were they going to cause trouble for the rest of my resident bird population? I even found myself channeling LionofZion, who has on occasion made some remarks about the dearth of things to do in SI, and wondering if these quail were trying to find someplace else and accidentally found themselves in SI. Were they lost? Would this foray into my yard end in "tragedy"? You may notice that I realllllly didn't want to finish my chore.

What was the end result? One of the quails waltzed across the patio and stood about 2 feet from my open sliding doors. I believe I tried cooing at it. It cocked its head to the side, made a rude noise that resembled someone with gastric distress, and flew off. I wish it had stuck around for just another few seconds so I could have thanked it for a very informative and entertaining time. Communing with nature beats cleaning closets hands down and every time.

I hope they come back on Sunday. I've got another disagreeable chore to do and I'd sleep better if I knew that my "out" was already waiting for me.


Anonymous said...

I envy you your view. Moved to Manhattan last year and the only real nature I get to see anymore is the pigeons that poop all over the fire escape outside the window. Oh yeah, and the occasional cockroaches.

Bas~Melech said...

Dan-- What? No squirrels?!

Anonymous said...

What, no rats and mice Dan? True natural wildlife of Manhattan.

Anonymous said...

Apparently there are also raccoons in Manhattan! A volunteer at the Central Park Zoo said the raccoons get into the zoo garbage at night if it isn't properly closed up.