Saturday, May 23, 2015


I have a veritable war going on just outside my window. At any given moment my humming bird feeder will have anywhere from one to twenty would be customers. They zip about, they fight, they land, they flit, and they attack. Birds are mean.

My guineas are mean as well. Last year I started with six. One, ended up with an injured foot and automatically became low man on the pole. He (or she) was literally hen pecked all day long. Then one day death came in an instant, and just like that, a new low man was born. To me, it was hard to tell why, but to the others it was easy. They spent the rest of the summer chasing and pecking at him (her) until she too was murdered. Then a new low man was born.

I live in a rather secluded area and get to see many types of birds. We put out feed in the winter and watch them going in and out of their bird houses in the summer. They are blue, yellow, black, grey, red, pink, brown, and everything in between. They are big, small, fast, slow, in the air, and on the ground. Their behaviours are a varying as their looks, but the one thing which they all have in common is that they are assholes.

I can only imagine what this would was like when dinosaurs roamed the planet. Large, constantly shitting, and forever battling. Perhaps that asteroid did us a favour. At least the devolved species of dinosaurs are small.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Lesson in Too Much

Yesterday was the first day I was able to get to my favourite sea-glass beach and go combing. When I arrived, a thick bank of white was sitting just off the shore and a fog horn across the bay kept up its steady tolling. It is in Old Lunenburg town. I couldn’t those colourful buildings, but I could picture the reds and yellows in my mind. I could picture its narrow streets, its funky little shops and its tar covered piers. I crunched over pebbles and sand while I listened to that horn and the sough and crash of the waves on the shore. At one point I looked up and just caught the stern of a sailing ship disappearing into the thick mists. It was like a scene right out of a Hollywood film. Did I actually see it? I stood for a long time looking out into the fog as tendrils of mist curled around my legs before blowing away like ephemeral spirits.

My very first glass find was a light blue piece, a rare treasure. I was thrilled. Normally I have to wander up and down, back and forth, to and fro for a couple of hours before I find anything so wonderful. My usual beach combing M.O. is to spend two hours wandering. I might find just enough pieces to cover the bottom of my bag. Once in a blue moon I fill it to the top. Yesterday I filled my bag in twenty minutes. Sea-glass lay scattered everywhere. Initially I was ecstatic, than as I bent down and picked my hundredth piece, leaving about twenty on the ground, I realized that this cornucopia of finds had reduced the experience. I felt cheated.

Literally there were too many to pick from. More than half the fun comes from the search. It came as a bit of an epiphany this act of finding too much and I realized that sometimes the best things in life come from a lot of work.

The fog moved further out to sea and I watched a lobster boat weave in and out of the curtain of white. The deep tolling of the horn kept up its warning of shallow waters and the tide began to move back in. I slung my bag of treasure over my arm and took one last deep breath of the wet, salty air, and then turned to leave. Sometimes the best things in life are free. Sometimes the best things in life come from knowing where to look. Sometimes the very best thing in life is what you have to work hard for. Understanding this lesson, deep down inside, is one treasure I did not expect to find yesterday.