Sunday, 1 November 2009

Where I come from

Where I come from, a lot of what's said about nature and weather is about how inconvenient or scary it is. How dreaded rain is because it means traffic will be terrible. How high the electricity bill is because it's so hot and we've got to keep the air conditioning on all the time. How tragic when someone's two thousand dollar intentionally tiny pure bred puppy was eaten by a coyote. The looming threat of forest fires. How annoying parking under that tree is because you come away with your car covered in bird poop. The blood thirty mountain lions. The vicious rattle snakes. The brush that you have to spend so many hours or so much money clearing every year. The smell of skunk. The mess of a tipped trash can after a raccoon's paid a visit. The hiss and sharp teeth of a startled possum. That insistent chirping of birds that wakes you up at three a.m.. The steady accrual of leaves, petals, or pollen that you're endlessly trying to wash off your driveway. The weeds. The amount of fertilizers and water required to grow anything in this desert! The drought. Not being able to water your lawn every day and the horror of brown grass.

I love the wild things where I live. The oak trees, the snakes, the lizards, the birds, the wild flowers. I love the two weeks of green hills in the spring. I love the howling of coyotes on summer nights, rare skunk sightings. I love watching mischievous squirrels in my backyard. This summer I put up a bird feeder. A squirrel chewed through the plastic handle that held it up. The bird feeder attracted a diverse group of birds including some that I'd never seen in the yard before. Some with golden breasts. Some with flashes of yellow. They'd come in groups and leave in groups. What a treat to wake up to the tweeting of birds.

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