Thursday, February 22, 2007

winged paul reveres of winter

God, I love it here.

And I don't type "God" in a taking-the-Lord's-name in vain sort of way, but in a "Dear God in Heaven, I really, really love it here" sort of way. I was getting stuff ready to make my morning coffee earlier, and happened to look out the kitchen window to see that a small group of antelope were back on the prairie. They're all so well-fed this year that even the bucks look pregnant.

So. Got some Folger's in my system, fired off some Orlando, Johnny and Kiera pics to Miss Hick Chic, and then went outside to feed the horses. I was throwing their hay when I heard the distinct sounds of honking geese. Oh, great, I thought. The neighbors have geese now. These are the neighbors who bought the 3-acre lot next to ours (a lot we actually made an offer on years ago, but we were outbid). They proceeded to build their big, tall, sticks-out-like-a-sore-thumb in this subdivision of modest homes mini-McMansion right smack dab in the middle of our view of the San Francisco Peaks. Lovely. Then, of course, they had to get some FARM ANIMALS! So, in went a llama. Then, a few months later, another llama (which I had to watch, from our front window, get repeatedly sodomized by the original llama, which apparently had some territorial issues (as in, "Dare to enter my pen and I will make you my bitch"). Have you ever heard a llama scream? It sounds like ET drowning in a shallow puddle.

Of course, it's not enough to have llamas, so chickens and roosters were next. No biggee. I don't even mind that the flock roams our property much of the time, since they keep the bug larvae down. But do you think the neighbors were going to stop at ruminants and fowl? Of course not! Not when there are dirt-cheap, off-the-track racehorses to be found! One of the cardinal, time-tested, mother-approved rules of horse-ownership is that a green horse and a green rider do not a match in Heaven make. It just can't end well. Sadly, newbies are often lured in all too easily by the "glamour" of an ex-racer (yeah, right) and a price that seems too good to pass up. Two other maxims spring to mind here: 1) You get what you pay for, and 2) Caveat emptor. Suffice it to say that my neighborly emtors didn't caveat nearly as much as they should have, considering the fact that they're now apparently too frightened of their horse to ride it.

I know this all sounds gratuitously mean-spirited, and the truth is that my neighbors are actually very nice people who probably have a long list of complaints about us, too. So, J and B, if you're reading this, please don't decide to retaliate by building an addition onto your house, thereby blocking the remaining 1/16th view of the peaks I'm able to enjoy, okay?

ANYWAY. I was feeding the horses when I heard geese, so naturally I assumed the worst. Geese and I do NOT get along. Come to think of it, I don't think geese get along with anybody. I looked across the pasture at the neighbors' henhouse, but didn't see anything. The geese almost sounded like they were out by the road, so I stood on tiptoe and tried to look over there, too. Nothing. Then they sounded really close. Uh-oh.

And then I realized that they were flying low over our house. They were wild geese (Canadian, maybe? I need to look up their migration patterns) headed straight as arrows toward the bird sanctuary/lake about half a mile west of us. And their honking wasn't threatening at all now. In fact, it was glorious. Those two lone arrivals were like the winged Paul Reveres of this long winter, delighted to be delivering their message: Spring is coming! Spring is coming!


  1. Lorelei10:33 AM

    My brother was bitten by a goose once when he was 10-ish at the Petaluma Cheese Factory. Geese and seagulls...the scourge of the bird world.

    Unless they're there just for ambience as yours were. What was that great movie, "Winged Migration" or something? It played at the Rafael Theater for like 5 months to very full houses each showing - worth renting if you don't have the geese doing a fly-by overhead.

  2. This time of year drives me insane. Its ALMOST spring, yet still a LITTLE winter. I was outside yesterday and I could SMELL the spring in the air..I want to go play NOW!

  3. LOL! You know how I feel about birds, especially large ones. I'm anti-farm animals also (hated the petting zoo when I was a child--still do). Nice graphic on the llamas.

    Btw, you've been blogged (snipped not shined).