Out walkin on a lazy Sunday down by the Wallkill, I'm greeted by two mockingbirds and their dueling repertoires. The red-winged blackbirds are back and so are the tree swallows. Cause for celebration. Down near the rotted, nearly swept-away bridge, I spot my first warbler of the season, a bright dab of yellow in the barely green underbrush. Another late spring.
Earth Day is comin up, I've seen a few bookstores put up green displays but it used to be a bigger deal a few years ago. Now that the economy's gone south, it's an even harder sell. Ecology's become "sustainable living." Eat local, buy local, live lightly, give back to the community. Sounds good but it's hard to do.
Sweet Lou ast me the other day, "Can you say for sure that the planet is gettin warmer?"
I thought to myself, not if you're followin the evidence of your senses. But your senses also tell you that the earth is standin still and it's the sun that rises and falls. Your senses only tell you so much. Sometimes they need help.
Out here just beyond the ugly single-family developments and half-dead strip centers, the greasy donut shops and shuttered gas stations, hundreds of robins and their usual neighbors -- catbirds, cardinals, bluebirds, grackles, cowbirds --eat, sing, tussle, dart back and forth. They're home. The ugliness doesn't bother them. They don't hold a grudge against us for the wasteful way we live. They just go through our trash and take what they need. Food. Nesting material.
With a flash of his bright white rump a flicker flies into the trees. Such a skittish bird. Overhead a red-tail draws the ire of three crows. Wild turkeys, turkey vultures. A lot more of them around than there used to be. But who's to say nature's out of balance? Us? Tell me, poot, what do we know?