Saturday, March 14, 2015

Nesting Season & Ponzi Schemes


Blue Birds 
and Stories

Watching a mountain blue bird pair reconnoitering for nest site, sent me into town for a nest box, made of sturdy white cedar and now affixed to the trunk of an old crab apple tree.

Will they choose to build a nest there? Be still oh my beating heart! A pair nested last year at dear friends' across the arroyo. Glimpses, of darting blue birds at the feeder which I tend, made my heart leap.

If instead wrens nest there, what fun and what a privilege to be alive at nest building, feeding and with luck, the flight of tottery fledglings.

Birds are thrumming my imagination at the moment. I've written a fourth book, this for children and those of us who still love picture books and a pretty good story. 

The water colors for the adventure, about a larger bird of blue plumage and handsome crest, were done by my mother. Jeremiah, the Bald-headed Blue Jay will be released just after the Spring Equinox. 

allaboutbirds.org

It's chilly in the mountains. High elevation light is richly lapis lazuli to aquamarine and wind comes blowing down the glittering peaks and across still snowy north slopes at this elevation.

It's the magic sunset time. Just before the sun disappears, slanting light catches the snow peaks and for a breathless moment, the peaks turn rose-pink.

That being the only harbinger of spring color we have so far, after days of steady snow fall, and sheltering in place! The lane here does not get plowed.

Bulbs are showing, however, just poking their noses up through the leaf mould. Tulip leaves came thrusting through the snow.

In 17th century Holland, the normally stolid Dutch burghers lost their minds to an exotic new flower from Turkey. Tulip bulbs were traded like mania-stocks on Wall Street. Fortunes were invested. 

lowres-picturecabinet.com

"Prices rose to such heights that by 1610 one rare bulb was considered an acceptable dowry for a bride." 

As the few costly bulbs were planted, guarded from theft and multiplied, finally becoming common, later investments of family fortune vaporized. Ponzi-scheme ad nauseum.

The human story is best pondered with a sense of humor, as we lurch from one obsession to another: pet rocks, cabbage patch dolls, or the latest texting widget.

And the Dutch? Good business sense picked itself up from mania blow-out, and centuries later lowlands reclaimed from the sea supply the world with tulips:


3.bp.blogspot.com

Our own Ponzi-schemes are bloating up like the Hindenburg, and normally generous people are feeling encroaching pain. Small entrepreneurship grows more creative:

Tomorrow, I'll attend a quiet fund-raiser for a community building effort, one home at a time, a home each year, for those who are desperately housed. It's called "Habitat for Humanity."

The local can-do crew is "selling" small bits of the project... X-amount of contribution for a bag of nails, a roof beam, an adobe brick.

c2.staticflickr.com

Bird houses are going up, and soon, ground-breaking for an adobe casita! Can spring be far behind?

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