Monday, August 2, 2010

weather and wondering

The dewpoint was a bitch today. I don't altogether mind such weather under certain circumstances; though lately those situations seem well beyond my reach, and at any rate the life of the flesh is mostly denied me the past two years and more. Who needs humidity, when nudity is so rare? We've traded laziness for air conditioning, another menace of mechanization in some ways. But the broken-down A/C was no abstract concern this morning -- with temps varying so widely from space to space at work, and some of the kids at the charter school having seizure disorders which can be triggered by something as subtle as the air-temp changes from a cooled room to an muggy one. Resolved, hours later and thank God. After two glasses of wine (3?) and a third of a beer, I can honestly say that the natural world went on without me this afternoon. I had to wear a sweater, in the office.

Do birds moan? Little birds? By this I mean to say that I wonder if they express frustration or longing, or grief. I'm not just talking about some noise that pigeons make. God knows birds get upset -- I've heard the indignant alarms in the backyard trees when our cats are out, as the robins with nests high above in the pines raise their pitch to warning cries -- needless, since our cats are either too old or too timid to climb after baby birds. I've heard the helpless, anguished desperation of songbirds in futile battle against a marauding jay, pecking uselessly at the much-larger bird as it murders the sparrow young. And finches always sound kind of anxious, calling out to one another. So grief, yes. Frustration, probably -- bitching at juvenile offspring who still trail after parenting pairs complaining of hunger when they're quite capable of fending for themselves. Longing? Maybe, in the calls of male cardinals or white-throated sparrows in search of a mate. But I'm anthropomorphizing.

I wonder if birds really notice the dewpoint.

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