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nature update; gambit

Out by the waters behind the supermarket I saw an interesting-looking bird perched in a tree. It turned out to be a green-backed heron.
The National Geographic Field Guide says, "Legs are usually dull yellow ... generally solitary, found in a variety of habitats, but prefers streams, ponds, marshes with woodland cover; often perches in trees ... Formerly known as Green Heron." What I noticed was its reddish brown front, not its green back--that and its yellow legs. Here's a photo by Jack Nordeen:

The air smells like the flowers from the bush they call Siberian olive; the honeysuckle bush (not the vine) is in bloom too, and I got the first breath of bedstraw in bloom this morning. Everything is very green and tall now, so when I walk I can really float out into it, buoyed up and dispersed by all that greenness.

In the woods and swamp out back there is a wood thrush that just sings and sings. It's transporting.

My carrot and cilantro seedlings are doing terribly. I'm going to replant. Maybe this weekend I will also have a chance to dig some horse manure--that will (one day) help my soil.

and now, thoughts on gambits, which here I'm using to mean "strategies for beginning an interaction" (I wish I could find a better word... maybe I should just say "ways to begin an interaction," or some similar phrase. Not sure we really use "gambit" this way much.)

Molly-the-dog has just two gambits. Her primary way of attempting to interact with people is to see if they will throw a bone/ball/stick for her. Her one variation on this is to crouch expectantly and see if she can interest you in chasing her.

Most people don't have that many gambits, either. If someone comes to you with a problem, don't you find that you tend to react in a limited number of ways? I do. And if those reactions aren't really useful, I'm at a loss. I'm like Molly trying to interact with someone who doesn't want to play throw-the-bone or chase. That's when someone comes to me and I'm reacting--when I myself am making a first move, I think I'm even more limited!

The summer breeze's gambit was to blow gently--much appreciated by the people on the construction site and mowing lawns; it even worked to calm down the man who was fuming over paying too much for his windshield wipers, but it wasn't so good for soothing the disoriented woman who couldn't find her car in the parking lot and it was positively disliked by the boy who was shivering after his swimming lesson.

I think I'd like to have lots of gambits. I'd like lots, and I'd like to be endowed with great powers of perception, because then I'd be able to choose the right one for any interaction. But I wonder, as I write that, if you can have lots of gambits and still have a distinct personality? Would you seem chameleon-like--and would people be asking, "What color are you, yourself?"

Hmm, looking out my window I see something plastic has blown into my yard. I'll pick it up when I hang out laundry. Now I'm going to edit. And, I hope, work on one of my two stories.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 26th, 2006 09:20 pm (UTC)
Today I went for a long drive. I drove until I found places I had never seen before, out into the country with rolling green and brown farmland. I found two lakes I was previously unaware of, used a half tank of gas, sang, and thought. You came to mind, and I wished I had a camera so I could show everyone the lakes farmland and barns.

I'm April green. What color are you?
May. 26th, 2006 11:44 pm (UTC)
That's a good question! Maybe I'm May green :-) I think maybe instead of a color, I'm the smell of that bedstraw I was talking about!

I wish you had a camera too--I'd love to see those farms and lakes! I'm glad you've found some nice places like that! Finding places like that can make dreary urban landscapes bearable (not that all urban landscapes are dreary... but it can make it easier to bear the ones that are...)
May. 26th, 2006 11:50 pm (UTC)
Bedstraw, how nice! ^_^

It is gorgeous one you get away from Flint. I'm lucky enough to live in the suburbs, but everything is very artificial around here. Nothing 50 miles won't fix, though. YAY for Michigan!
May. 26th, 2006 11:20 pm (UTC)
We call cilantro coriander here.

I find it an annoying plant to grow. It grows for around 6 weeks, then suddenly bolts to seed. However, the seeds come up really easily for me. They just don't grow very long.
May. 26th, 2006 11:47 pm (UTC)
I find it pretty annoying to grow, too. I don't know why I keep trying. My friends heyes and grayheyes lived in a semi-condemned farmhouse around here for a while, and that farmhouse had a garden with AMAZING cilantro/coriander* in it--so green and leafy. But mine always takes forever to grow, has two leaves, and then bolts. I'll probably give up one day.

*(We call it cilantro when we're growing it for greens and coriander when we're using the seeds)
May. 27th, 2006 01:23 am (UTC)
I get highly annoyed when people show me their huge, long lived coriander plants, too. One friend has a HEDGE of the stuff. And she does absolutely nothing to it!
May. 27th, 2006 05:25 pm (UTC)
I'm with the boy, I'm against breeze's. They muss your hair, they make your eyes run and are just generally not friendly.

But I am very for Molly-the-dog. I would so chase her! Sounds like heaps of fun. :)

So what the plastic thing the wind brought you?
May. 27th, 2006 06:07 pm (UTC)
turns out to have been an empty bagel bag, from when I gave the healing angel an old stale bagel to break up for the birds (who didn't eat it--instead Molly ate it next time she was outside).

So it was my own rubbish, in fact, not something blown in from elsewhere.
May. 28th, 2006 04:27 pm (UTC)
Drat. I was hoping the wind would carry something strange, lovely and exotic to you. Oh, well.

Mighty picky birds you have, though. Molly would have to fight me for a bagel, stale or not!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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