Fierce feathered flying feeding frenzy
A pressed post from I Miss You When I Blink:
Dear hiring manager,
“Armadillo” means “little armored one,” but it looks to me like humans are the ones up in arms right now. Vast numbers of despondent people need consoling, yet due to the finit…
Learning, writing, birds, otters, details, and soul. A reblogged post.
by Jan Priddy
(c) 2016 photo by Dinty W.Moore
In my college writing class I assign “The Pigeon Paper.” This is a short expository essay written to address a one-word topic—write about “squash” or write about “salt”—a paper completed in ten days. The first year it was about pigeons—hence the name. We began the assignment by brainstorming what we knew individually about pigeons and considering different structures for an expository paper (comparison, chronology, description); overnight each of us researched and the next day we brought in research and each proposed three potential topics and approaches; then we had a few days to complete a draft for peer editing in class, and a final draft of the paper was handed in the following day.
Long before I began teaching, I had faith both in assignments and research. I believe writing creates learning, because it forces us to examine our knowledge in the…
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Spotted so far this month at our house:
- chipmunk – 1
- squirrel – 1
- blue jay – 2
- grackle – 2
- red-winged blackbird – 4
- rabbit – 1
- goldfinch – 2
- house finch – 4
- house sparrow – lots
- toad – 2
- cardinal – 4
- chipping sparrow – 1
- starling – lots
- robin – lots
- mourning dove – 4-6
- honey bees, bumblebees, carpenter bees, yellow jackets, mud wasps, flies, pavement ants, spiders (various), mosquitoes, moths (various), butterflies (various) – several
- house cat – 1
- Cooper’s hawk – 1
- flowers – oodles
- weeds – too many
. . . It’s a space station.
My husband pointed out a “bunny” he saw in the neighbor’s yard as he left for his soccer game this morning. “Bunny” hardly fits this behemoth. He’s huge! Gorging on grass, leaping back and forth from his den among the ornamental grasses, he could not escape my camera’s sport continuous mode. Holding the door open, I snapped several shots from the threshold.
Especially in those frontal shots, he looks more like a jackalope to me. I should keep an eye on the new flowers, lest the muncher’s tractor beam engage.
In lieu of Five-Phrase Friday, I’m re-posting a poem and its revision with an update. The revised poem won a poetry contest I entered last month, National Poetry Month. I originally posted the poem as part of my series called Wild Verses: Bits of Nature Poetry. In it, I asked the question, “Is it ever too late to revise a poem?” While not a definitive answer, the contest win would suggest it wasn’t too late for this particular poem, titled “Hawk Side.”
“Wild Verses: Bits of Nature Poetry, 9 of 10” was originally posted July 14, 2015:
For this bit of nature poetry, I decided to show two very different drafts of essentially the same poem side by side (or one over the other, as it were). The first draft was written in 1999, the revision finished last month.
Food for thought: Is it ever too late to revise a poem? What is lost or gained in the process?
“Hawk-side” – November 1999:
Hawks high on fences. Hawks poised perching there. Hawks like stoic kitten princesses, huntresses on fences along a highway. Looking out for morsels of mice and sparrows. Too many fully empty deer there are--stuffed wholly empty. Lying stiff, the wholly empty deer await the hawks. Hungry hawks find food elsewhere. Full hawks, flecked with brown and white; russet-brown, russet-white at the meal. Flash of a truck, fleck of a bird, crowning a rotten wooden fence post, low on a highway hill. I pass another, passenger-side, hawk-side.
“Hawk Side” – June 2015:
Along the highway fence, a hawk posts tall, keen and poised, as stoic as a feral kitten princess, knowing more, careening inside for hot morsels of mice and sparrows. Too many deer fully empty, ahead. Stuffed with glass, colliding stiff, hollowed-out doe and buck parts await the crows, and the hawks. Ravenous hawks wrench food from life elsewhere. Full hawks fleck brown and white. Russet brown, white- stained-russet lines blur— feather edges, straw bones, red shoulders, tails, secret coverts, cheeks smeared, blood talons, beaks dripping. Blip of a truck, fleck of a bird, the huntress crowns the rot of wooden fence posts (leaving carcasses for cars and crows), low on a highway hill. Sharp- eyed, one passed on the right— passenger side, hawk side.
copyright C. L. Tangenberg