Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I went to bed early on the 49th day of summer, August 7th, 2012. On the day of the House Sparrow, we had 45 days to make our deal with summer.

I say we must make a deal with summer. First, we have to accept what summer gives us, and summer has given us hot days with full sunshine and few days with rain. I have taken a long train ride. I have taken a few overnight trips. I have passed a few afternoons out at the beach. It took me until the end of July, but I started swimming in the big lake. I had a swim near the channel outlet that drains Mona Lake and I kept thinking of the Ganges. I have been out on a boat a few times, but the ferry to Mackinac Island hardly counts. It's a common passage. But then again, we have to accept the common, some of us, if we are to be happy with our summers. Right now, I am trying to get out for the day on a fish tug. Hoping I can afford a ride on the Badger, but this hasn't been one of my summers loaded with spare cash. We have enjoyed hot days followed by strangely cool nights in the sixties. Now, the nights have managed to plunge into the fifties. We all feel the turn towards Autumn. Many cannot credit September as a summer month. They count three summer weeks remaining and no more than three.
I saw a House Sparrow flying into the cinder block wall across from my office. Maybe it sensed a thiness in the wall. Male House Sparrows build a nest and then must chirp about it to the ladies. He might pursue the female House Sparrow and show off his proud breast, but it's not on until a female chirps "dee, dee, dee" to him. House Sparrows mate for life, but life for the House Sparrow has many ways to end. Raptors love them. Cats treat them as chew toys. The House Sparrow is often caught out looking for another life time partner.
House Sparrows have ninja like capabilities when stalking food. The species prefers wheat and oats but will eat meat and food scraps. One of the sparrows that make nests in our office building had managed to enter the high ceiling area of our manufacturing plant. Sparrows have been known to open automatic doors of supermarkets, where cherries and blueberries await. Sparrows can cling to the wall upside down, waiting for lovers to leave the remains of lunch on hotel balconies. No matter what a Sparrow finds, sparrows have to eat grit in order to digest the contents of their stomachs. A willingness to eat anything and to risk everything to find it has made the House Sparrow one of the most adaptable of bird species and one of the most common. However, this bird desires insects to feed its young in the first two weeks, and insects have become scarce in the word of pesticides. Suburban lawns do not encourage grasshoppers. In parts of the world, the Sparrow has declined by 90 percent. The House Sparrow is called the English Sparrow, yet the English Sparrow has vanished from downtown London. It might be the introduction of the Sparrowhawk.
We are more efficient in our harvests. We spill less wheat for the House Sparrow to pick up.
I am sure some writer will have a novel that will become a movie on this topic. Once, people joined Sparrow Clubs to attempt the control of the sparrow population. I wonder if the clubs dined on sparrow pie after a successful hunt? Now, Sparrow Clubs are organized as a charity in the Pacific Northwest. High school chapters adopt children fighting various diseases. World Sparrow Day has recently become an observed holiday, the observance not even five years old. Even the common and ordinary sparrow has a conservation society?
Most birdwatchers treat sparrows with disdain, even hostility. The sparrow has been known to evict bluebirds from nesting cavities, and even murder bluebird hatchlings with a peck through a fragile skull. The sparrow isn't much to look at, with buff and brown feathers and a body much smaller than a robin. Despite that, Corrine, my father's mother, delighted to watch them bathe communally at her bird bath, which my father's father built of concrete and pebbles for her. I am pretty sure decades of House Sparrow wore it down, pecking the rim for grit.
World Sparrow Day
I would like to have my time in high school back, where I read nothing but Wikipedia in Science Class. This article about the House Sparrow has so much to learn:
Photography Credits are as follows. What a fascinating world can be found by following up on Wikipedia photo credits:
Description English: A male House Sparrow in Victoria, Australia in March 2008
March 2008
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 only as published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.
Description English: Female House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) in Leeds Castle, Kent, England.
Taken by Diliff with a Canon 5D and 70-200mm f/2.8L lens at 200mm.
24 May 2009
Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0
Description Deutsch: Hausspatzenweibchen (Passer domesticus) füttert ihr gerade flügge gewordenes Küken
Female House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) feeding its fledged chick.
18 May 2007
Loz (L. B. Tettenborn)

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