Sweet end-of-summer Saturday…
September 11, 2010 § 9 Comments
Oh, lovely. You are quite possibly one of the handsomest of your ilk in Lochcrest.
One of, eh? Well I’ll settle for that today. I am molting, after all.Uh, huh, birds molt, typically at least once a year. Feathers wear out, those fine little structures of kertain. Molting is the process during which all are replaced, even those feathers that were wounded, missing or lost.
Scientists confess they are hard-pressed to get it all down, how this molting thing goes, but it’s hormonal and also typifies racial instinct, especially for those birds dealing with harsh weather and physical conditions (like those little fellows that live in marshes and brambly places.) Some birds molt more than others; it’s also individual thing, particularly in male pattern baldness due to molting. And for those who lose significant headfeathers at one time, it’s neither embarassment nor disease. Yes, their little black-skinned heads show through, at which time they all have a certain vulture resemblance, and that bald pate reduces some human types to thinking that something is amok in the neighborhood and have been known to call animal rescue about a illness among the flocks.
But no, one bluejay may lose his “headdress,” while another will not show a wink of loss.
It is no surprise that some birds molt twice a year, including that “pre-nuptial” shed when their everyday feathers are replaced with bright and flashy hues of their original coloring. This molt has its positive effect (because love is in the air) and it works, thus it is repeated by the species.
My non-scientific contribution is that this summer’s terrific constant heat has forced molting of nearly every bird pedigree we’ve seen, from the ducks to the owl. How odd to see them all messy and uncombed. Even the brilliant little yellow finch who haunts our sunflowers has a certain shabbiness about him rather than his usual cadillac shine.
THE BOOK OF DEAD BIRDS by Gayle Brandeis
OK, actually, I haven’t read this. I’ve read about it and found it at the book fair so it’s on the TBR shelf, (well, actually, no, it’s in the TBR bag since I cleaned off my bookshelves in a spate of irritation stemming from looking at all the books I have NOT yet read.)
Anyway, I am reading FRUITFLESH (still) which is also written by Brandeis. It’s not a bad book about writing, although her oft comparisons to women as fruit and sweetness and discovery sometimes has me going “ew.” But I perservere, gleaning what I can about what she gleaned in terms of the writing life. And so I look forward to reading her above-mentioned book.
Because it was an award-winner and because it goes with my “bird” theme somewhat, I am trumpeting it here!