Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I Voted.

Got the sticker and everything. Had to try two different precincts, but eventually they took us, even if our poll worker did laugh at AMR's name. Something about the Z maybe struck her as funny. There was the clear sense that Democrats were maybe not to be fully trusted. Brown ones less so. But a better day outside the Kiser Tigers' gymnasium (and a fine day, laughing aside, inside it: Nice to vote for your candidate, nice just to vote) — watered the radish seeds, the lettuce and spinach seeds, the impatiens, the squash, tomatoes, peppers. We've got both the food and the pretty crops in. Little bit more of each to go: Okra and lantana in over by Phil, radish and carrot and bush beans here in the WeatherDeck bed. Just nice to tend to the acreage this morning. Something simpler, better, than demographics.

Grackle casualty: dismembered baby in the front ivy yesterday evening. A leg left. Some feathers. Other less recognizable body parts. But two more fledging today, one up in La Vieja's maple and doing fine, one down on the ground trying to figure it out. No real way to tell if the dead grackle was our grackle, or another one out of the nest. That first one somehow was ours, and the subsequent grackles belong to — who knows. We'll say s/he flew away, and that the dead one was another one. Oh, the religion of baby birds. Maybe one forgets that there's more than one way to lose a hatchling. Maybe one forgets that fledging has got easily to be the most dangerous time. Maybe one just doesn't ever really know.

Today was ridiculous. May is ridiculous. Upper 70s. Sun. Little breeze. Birds galore. Most things blooming. Three more trash cans of bindweed and henbit and what all else out of the back garden. Michael Pollan posits in his excellent book Second Nature that the gardener is priviledged to be free of a romantic view of nature: S/he knows that some things must be culled (Bindweed, yes. But grackles?) in order for other things to thrive. The very act of weeding, of selecting, places one even in a kind of adversarial relationship with nature. Pollan reminds us that this adversarial contest begins when we decide winter is too fierce, put a roof over our heads. Pick another synecdoche. Difficult sometimes to remind oneself that the pig is smarter than the dog. Difficult to see the grackle in the yard. Difficult period. Difficult.

And yet we often have to choose. We dug out the morning glories to put tomatoes in.

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