Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Birds: Feathers & 'Tales'

Source: Houston Chronicle

Brawny Bird

"Hey 'Brawny Bird', don't you know it's 5 AM and people are sleeping... were sleeping but not anymore?"

We're up now and pissed, but apparently not as pissed as you.

"What gives with all the bodily banging and thrusting against our bedroom windows... morning, after morning, after morning?"

"I'm no bird whisperer, but I assume you're the alpha male, or trying to become one, that your hormones are poppin' and you want all the 'chicks' to yourself... and heaven help the bird that gets in your way!"

"But your thinking is totally off if you believe another bird is honing in on your territory. Surely you have some self-awareness and can see that it's your own damn reflection you keep trying to obliterate." But obviously not.

"So that's it... we humans, the chosen ones, are living in the dawn of hell because you happen to be all muscle and no brain... and we happen to have the cleanest windows in the neighborhood". Lucky us!

And lucky is what we thought back in December when Winter felt like Spring, and we were able to wash all the windows in our house both inside and out... all 53 panes of glass, never imagining there'd be consequences for such constructive action.

And it was action on my part that eventually put an end to Brawny Bird's antics. Nothing physical... just a logical plan that shouldn't have worked, but did.


Large black and white images of a cat... a cat with intense-looking eyes, lying down, but ready to pounce at any minute were printed and attached to large sheets of cardboard that were then clipped to our bedroom windows.

Thud! Just one thud after encountering a paper cat on one window and Brawny Bird was off! Another day, another single thud. A few more days of thud, thud, thud and eventually all contact with our windows ceased. I can't pinpoint when exactly, but like chronic pain... you ache, and ache, and ache, until one day you suddenly realize the pain is gone.

Bye Bye Brawny Bird.

Hello Brainy Bird.

Source: Koit

And from 'The Week' Magazine, May 27, 2016...

"A mother goose turned to Cincinnati police for help when one of her goslings got tangled up in string. Officer James Givens was sitting in his police cruiser near a city creek when the distraught bird started tapping at the door with its beak.

"It kept pecking," he said. "Normally they don't come near us."

Curious, Givens got out of the car, and the bird led him to a gosling that was tied up in a discarded balloon string. Givens' partner carefully untangled the baby bird, which ran off to rejoin it's happily honking mom"... who proved to be one 'smart' bird.

And shortly before this incident in Cincinnati, curious friends of ours, Joe and Kaylah vacationing in California, emailed asking for the exact location in San Francisco where Michael and I once lived... which opened a can of worms for us as we had long forgotten the address.

But I could picture the place.

Source: Google Street View 2016

And clearly remembered... that it was located on the corner of Leavenworth and Vallejo Streets, that it had been a grocery store, empty for a number of years before we rented it, and once situated, how eager the neighbors were to inform us of the property's notoriety... the place where our landlord's parents had been gunned down for refusing to pay protection money.  Shock City!

Shocked and devastated by the killings, it's no wonder our landlord Tom no longer set foot inside the building until we had it completely revamped to where it looked nothing like the previous place with all its misfortune.

In a way we brought Tom good fortune. Shortly after the property's transformation, it was put on the market and sold for big bucks!

And in flew our new landlord...

Beauty Bird

Source: Vintage Everyday

Beauty bird was a petite woman yet well-endowed. She wore big hair, loads of make-up and eyelashes that practically crossed the street. She was retired, a former Burlesque Queen with traces of having been an eyeful in her day.

And from the floor above we'd hear her practicing to the sound of striptease music.

"Ta Dah, da da... Ta Dah, da da... BOOM Ta Dah... BOOM Ta Dah... da da da."

She was an odd bird in a pleasant sort of way.

Then one day, with lashes 'aflutter', she approached us and said, "Your lease is almost up and I'd love for you to stay. But (short pause) I have to double your rent from 200 dollars to 400 dollars a month."


Not only was she a beauty, but a brawny and brainy bird as well.

Unfortunately for us, we were mere students and a rent increase of any amount back in the early '70s meant... Good Bye Nest Egg! Not that we ever had one.

So when our lease was up we 'flew the coop'... east to Pennsylvania.

Where 'birds of a feather flock together', unless one goes rogue and you happen to have sparkling clean windows... which sounds more like the beginning of this post instead of the end.

So here's one final tale of a rare bird and long-time friend.

Arty Bird

Richard Cramer is an artist and professor emeritus at Tyler School of Art, who now lives and works in New York City.

Here is a selection from his series of bird drawings, the originals measuring 30 X 40 inches done with pen and ink on paper.

There's a saying... "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." Until he flies off and starts attacking YOUR windows! Then you'll be looking for that 'stone' from that other saying.

Until 'nest' time and more tales 
"Here and Next"

XOX... Dyan