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Revolutions July 29, 2015

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
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It’s been twenty years since I turned 33⅓. I haven’t seen 45 in eight. On the flip side, I won’t be 78 for nearly a quarter century. This spinning, though, is dizzying and swift.

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No Portland No Cry July 25, 2015

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
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I am not leaving for Portland today. We will not drop in on Laura and Chris and Gigi, who are on vacation by the ocean. I did not call Louise or Suzanne or Fred to ask if we could crash there tonight. We will not follow up on a rare-bird sighting (little egret!). We will not check into the hotel tomorrow night, and Monday and Tuesday will dawn—a little earlier than Vermont—without Tim’s professional presence. I will not get a whiff of salt air. Our wide-open baby-bird mouths will not grace the hot new dining spots.

Lobster rolls remain unwolfed. Oysters yet survive unslurped.

Ghost Town July 23, 2015

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
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They are on beaches, on islands, on blankets under umbrellas. They are in other countries. They are holding paddles, fishing rods, dog-eared books, drinks, each other. They are in salt and fresh water or in boats gliding through such things. Some laze at old family properties; others muddle French in bars. They are under the sun and over the moon.

Je suis seule à mon bureau. The neighbors’ rooster crows.

Tuesday July 21, 2015

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
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It’s Tuesday, and it used to be that Tuesday—well, every other Tuesday—was Kimday, the day when Kim drove to Parts West and Tim and I got massages after work. I started seeing Kim in 2006, then Tim did, and when her practice moved from one town to another farther away, I was about to tell her I had to stop seeing her because I couldn’t take the long drive afterward, but she said she’d come to my house if Tim and I would both have a massage, making it worth her while financially. It felt like a $tretch to do it that way, to commit to every other week, but it was also too good an opportunity to pass up, and hey, we don’t have kids. That arrangement had been going on for awhile when, at a New Year’s Eve party, a plot was hatched by neighbors to offer up a second location so Kim could make a day of it. So, every other Tuesday, more or less (less, of course, because life happens), for the last 4½ years, Kim has come to our town to see four or five clients.

It’s Tuesday. Last Tuesday was the last Tuesday.

On Sunday, Kim left with her family for Boulder, Colorado. It is a wonderful opportunity for them. We are all happy for them.

But there were a lot of tears. One does not have a particular someone regularly rub oil all over her body and work on ridiculously tight muscles for nine years without getting emotionally attached. At least this one does not.

All of us are attached. Kim is not the kind of person you don’t become friends with. She is not the kind of person you don’t get attached to. She is the kind of person you will boldly write sentences ending in prepositions for.

It’s Tuesday. A week ago we met up in the heights (the other venue) for a champagne toast before moving it all down to my place one last time. We gave her a parting gift. We all cried a lot.

Tim got the last massage. I got the last embrace.

It is Tuesday, and Kim is gone.

I can’t even write this without tearing up again.

Anonymous Guest Blogger July 13, 2015

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
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[a July 7 comment on “Excuse Note Follow-up” for all to see and with which Ms. I. Bunting further procrastinates]

Dear Varied Bunting:

I feel you could do a much better job of incentivizing Indigo proper Bunting to blog rather than to spend all her time dilly dallying with Orphan Black and Trombone Shorty. In fact, those sound like flimsy excuses for names—are you sure she’s not actually engaged in other time-wasting pursuits, like condiment shopping? Anyways, here’s my suggestion: every day prepare some home-made sweet potato frites and serve them with the daily special dipping sauce (e.g. Monday: Trader Joe’s sweet chili sauce; Tuesday: Wild Maine blueberry hot sauce; Wednesday: Annie’s Naturals BBQ sauce (ignore its dubious provenance); Thursday: Stonewall Kitchen maple chipotle grille sauce; Friday: Hellman’s real mayonnaise, possibly jazzed up with some pickled ramps and scapes; Saturday: Cholula chili lime hot sauce; Sunday: special brunch-style balsamic vinegar with wild blueberries). Allow Indigo to peck at exactly cinq frites but no more, until she writes at least 250 mots.

If that doesn’t work I suggest you stop rolling yer eyes in frustration, pack up all those condiments, and make your way to NYC, where you can set up an eatery that will put this one out of business: http://www.pommesfritesnyc.com/gallery.html. As you roll down the driveway towards Route 153 you may want to taunt Indigo with a few particularly villainous verbified nouns (e.g. “incentivizing”), which may goad her into posting a diatribe against this new-fangled assault on the Queen’s English and its hayseed offshoot.

Signed,

An Anonymous Indigo Bunting Aficionado

4BY2: Quarterly Report July 8, 2015

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
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Sure, I’ve been anxious and cranky and noncommunicative most of this calendar year, but one thing that brings me joy is seeing birds. It’s been a pretty good year.

In April I added thirty species to the list. I attribute this luck to being in Portland, Maine, and being there over a weekend for once, which gave us time to go birding. I got to see lots of species I can’t see while landlocked. In April, I added common grackle, horned grebe, pied-bill grebe, bufflehead, American black duck (two, doing it!), merlin, great egret, snowy egret, eastern phoebe, ring-necked duck, green-winged teal, killdeer, glossy ibis, American wigeon, greater yellowlegs, Harlequin duck, surf scoter, black scoter, northern rough-winged swallow, double-crested cormorant, great blue heron, house finch, woodcock, Wilson’s snipe, belted kingfisher, pine siskin, tree swallow, chipping sparrow, broad-winged hawk, and chimney swift.

Surely, I thought, I will not begin to approach that number in May.

But spring was very very good to me, and the birds practically knocked on my front door. (It’s been a good year for birding from bed, ticking off singing species in the early-morning hours before I get up. Also, I took a bunch of walks and bike rides.) I had matched April’s count by midmonth, and by month’s end, I was up forty-one species: rose-breasted grosbeak, yellow-bellied sapsucker, eastern towhee, field sparrow, black-and-white warbler, yellow warbler, gray catbird, white-throated sparrow, brown-headed cowbird, swamp sparrow, spotted sandpiper, barn swallow, tree swallow, northern flicker, wood duck, warbling vireo, white-crowned sparrow, Baltimore oriole, bobolink, common yellowthroat, eastern kingbird, eastern meadowlark, barred owl, ovenbird, ruby-throated hummingbird, indigo bunting, veery, house wren, brown thrasher, chestnut-sided warbler, red-eyed vireo, ruffed grouse, scarlet tanager, wood thrush, American redstart, hermit thrush, eastern wood-pewee, northern harrier, great-crested flycatcher, common nighthawk, and cedar waxwing.

The expected slowdown arrived in June, when I added only five species, despite a trip south to Maryland and Pennsylvania: fish crow, Carolina wren, Carolina chickadee, black vulture, and great-horned owl.

So, year-to-date count for this report: 120. (2012: 102. 2013: 162 [ah, Arizona!]. 2014: 102.)

New Neighbors July 6, 2015

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
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A couple of months ago, some new neighbors took up residence in the ’hood: a pair of broad-winged hawks.

It’s possible that I’ve heard broad-winged hawks from my own yard before, but I don’t think so. Suddenly, here they are, soaring above my house, calling. (To hear what they sound like, go here.)

I hear them almost every day.

What made them choose my neighborhood? Truly, I’d like to know.

They arrive at a time when I’m dealing with neighbors who are moving away—neighbors whom I love. I’m heartbroken.

They arrive at a time when I wish certain other neighbors would move away, at a time when I find the words white trash flitting through my mind in spite of myself. (It turns out I really do want people to take care of things and be respectful toward each other.)

I’m guessing some of my bird and small-mammal neighbors are not as happy as I am about the hawks.

But I get a little thrill every time I hear that whistle.