June 12th, 2011


Rain, Birds and Fruit

Rain woke us early this morning. We have a garden wagon of tomato plants that we're saving for lo5an, so I went out bleary-eyed into the rain and dark to put them inside the garage for protection. There was only a bit of thunder and no hail, wind, or bad weather, so the excursion turned out to be wasted effort. The rain was welcome; it had been a while, and we've had a couple-dozen 90 plus degree days.

As usual, we ate breakfast on the west porch. The early rain washed and cleaned our surroundings and left a crisp fragrance in the cool morning air. The barn swallows swooped through the backyard trolling for insects while a mocking bird perched in a hackberry tree and sang its lungs out. A pair of meadowlarks lingered atop a distant dirtpile left by the in-laws in the pasture behind our house. And all the while, a scissor-tailed flycatcher quietly watched the scene from his perch on the back fence.

The flycatcher is my favorite bird. A gray bird with a salmon-colored breast and dark tail feathers that jut out eight or ten inches. The tail feathers are sparse and separate into a split when the bird flies, hence the name, scissor-tailed. The birds are calm and friendly and watchful. This is the third or fourth year one has perched on the backyard fence near our garden. I think there is a nest nearby, perhaps in the mulberry tree, but my search for it has been unsuccessful so far.

We have hamburgers planned for lunch. On the hamburgers, we'll be eating the first three tomatoes picked from our garden and produced from the seeds I planted during the snow storm last January. Fresh, home-grown, vine-ripened tomatoes; fruits of my labors. I can hardly wait.