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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Blackburnian














Today I was looking for Black-throated Blue Warblers to photograph, but found Blackburnians instead.  The pair were feeding in spruces and fir about 15 feet overhead, when the female suddenly flew down into a cavern in the roots of a spruce tree uprooted during a winter storm.  I have never seen blackburnians during the breeding season at ground level, so I figured something must be up.  Soon enough I had my answer when the male flew to the same place.  I watched in amazement as both birds gathered fine rootlets (see crumby photo above), flying off with them, into a big upright living spruce 150 feet away.  Note the broken and missing tip on the upper mandible of the male.



My Sister's Tiny Hands
By The Handsome Family

we came in this world together
legs wrapped around each other
my cheek against my sister's
we were born like tangled vine

we lived along the river
where the black clouds never lingered
the sunlight spread like honey
in my sister's tiny hands

but while picking sour apples
in the wild waving grasses
sister stumbled in the briar
and was bitten by a snake

every creature casts a shadow under the sun's golden finger
but when the sun sinks past the waving grass
some shadows are dragged along

alone, I took to drinking bottles of cheap whiskey
and staggering through the back woods
killing snakes with a sharpened stick

but still I heard her laughing
in those wild waving grasses
still her tiny hands went splashing at the river's sparkling shore

so I took my rusty gas can
and an old iron shovel
I set the woods to burning
and choked the river up with stones

every creature casts a shadow under the sun's golden finger
but when the sun sinks past the waving grass
some shadows are dragged along





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