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Friday, March 24, 2017

Backyard Evolution

Geo.: Well, hello. What have we here?
Voice from overhead: A field cat perfecting his skulk.

Geo.: Who said that, and how do you know?

Voice: Look up here in the plum tree. I am a dove and doves know everything.

Geo.:  Everything?

Dove.: Everything.
Geo.: What then, is the object of Fieldcat perfecting its skulk? What is the perfect skulk?

Dove: Invisibility, of course.  Other creatures pursue it by different disciplines. Take our friend, Shed-cat, for instance...

Geo.: Shedcat? Where?

Dove: Precisely:
Dove: Shed-cat renders himself invisible by falling perfectly asleep on top of the shed. He is a great artist and ranks among the least conspicuous things in the universe.

Geo.: But what of you, Dove? How do you compare with other birds?

Dove: Consider Bluejay in the crepe myrtle...
Dove: His colors, stance and voice are are assertive --he is conspicuous. We doves have muted voices, calm colors and very good posture. On those points alone, we cannot be compared --and, of course, unlike other birds, we doves know everything.

Geo.: And humans?

Dove: Oh, good point! You humans know everything else. 




22 comments:

  1. Geez, nice metaphors about doves, humans, etc. I wish I could say I have a different relationship with doves than I do....I fear I could be subject to banishment were I to talk recipes and sauces.
    I do like birds, Geo, and respect them. It's just that ducks, grouse and doves have occupied a different part of my...um, repertoire.
    Cheers,
    Mike

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    1. Thanks, Mike. Admittedly, my "um, repertoire" includes several birds too. However, although pigeon-oid birds were part of my diet in youth, I have made friends with too many of them to eat them anymore.

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  2. I do believe we humans have just been insulted.

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    1. Dear Emma, doves are birdbrains incapable of insult --I hope. They seem so serene, making me wish I had a more aerodynamic head.

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  3. Dove is so right that we know what is left out of everything. And inflate its size.
    I don't think I would like to know everything (and don't think I could cope with it). I would however like to be a cat in my next life. A cat with a perfected skulk. And invisibility.

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    1. I suspect we need not reincarnate as cats. Rabid aerobics have popularly overtaken exercise programs but skulking is still an important part of personal fitness. I skulk around the house, especially when something aerobic needs doing. Usually get caught though and pressed into service --must perfect my skulk.

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  4. Shedcat seems to have a good job. And the doves in your neighborhood must know that too.
    Great photos of that wise dove.

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    1. Shedcat has a snore that has been adopted and broadcast by mockingbirds. It sounds like a motorboat cruising around in circles and the doves nest here because of it. Lazy cat means safety to them.

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  5. That was a bit of a 'dove put-down'. Well played, dove.

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    1. Delores, all put-downs from gentle, bird-brained doves are unintentional and, therefor, more effective than if they were intentional. They are graceful in form and flight and have no right to be graceful in conversation --yet, they are.

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  6. Those are wonderful pictures! I've never seen a skulk so well-captured.

    After one of our many snowstorms I put out a suet/seed feeder and the jays were the ones to find it. You'd think they would eat and leave and not try to attract attention. Instead, they twang and squawk during the whole process. Look, everyone! We've arrived! Now we're eating! Now we're eating some more! Now we're leaving!... I have to admit they're fun to watch, though :)

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    1. Jenny, I too am astonished at Norma's photo of a skulk. Your excellent description of jay behavior reminds me of visits from some relatives --but yes, fun to watch.

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  7. I am amazed at your creativity, and so is the dove

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    1. Thanks, dear Sage. But when you see a fieldcat say with its whole body,"Oooh don't look at me; I'm not really here!" the rest of the voices come easily from the trees and shrubs.

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  8. The lovely doves are the first sound I hear in the morning - usually about 4 AM. I "used to" like it as I thought it was soothing. They sit on the swing set outside my bedroom window and lately I have been having very dark thoughts about them. I have a few skulking cats out there, but they don't rise till about 9.

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    1. Arleen, cats are not foolish or irritating enough to rise too early. They do, however, stay up very late outdoors some seasons and call each other the most horrible names.

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  9. That field cat looks suspiciously like my cat Scratch and they share the same skulk.

    I believe that doves do indeed know everything, and - unlike humans - they are wise enough to keep their thoughts to themselves.

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    1. Jon, as you have doubtless witnessed, the skulk of an accomplished cat is a thing of furtive beauty. Doves demonstrate wisdom in their shape and sound. Humans, on the other hand, must tax their brains for it --indeed a less reliable method. But we can't stop trying.

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  10. Enjoyed the birds. Your blue jays are so different from ours.

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    1. Very observant Squid, yes the crestless head and slight variations in markings set the California Scrubjay apart from other jays. But their job of propagating oaks and being yelly is pretty much like jays everywhere.

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  11. Most birdbrains, like empty barrels, make the most noise, so the gentle dove's coos prove its inherent superiority. And he's smart enough to know how little value his knowledge about everything would be if he merely told it to us, so he's going to let us figure those things out for ourselves.

    Another super post, dude.

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    1. Thank you, Susan. Now you've got me wondering if the next big deal in private schools will consist of teachers, robed in feathers, just coo-ing softly to their students all day. I bet people will pay big bucks for that. Maybe I would too.

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