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easy like a sunday morning

death in the familyWe rarely use our backyard. Which is funny, because the one main thing that excited me so much about buying our house was having our own backyard.

Let's just say our yard needs work. The grass isn't really grass at all; it's more like wiry, sharp blades of of greenish, brownish steel that grow in scattered clumps. There's the circle of sand where the pool (which the previous owners left in a disastrous state) used to be. There's bushes and hedges that grow all kinds of flowers and berries, but which, like the hair of a five year old boy, look unruly and unkempt no matter how much care you give them. Basically, the yard is a mess and we're really hoping that by that start of next summer we'll have better grass, a brick patio kind of thing, and a barbecue pit/outdoor fireplace. We have plans. We just need to figure out which child to sell in order to get the money needed to put those plans in motion.

I felt like shooting some photos early this morning, so I tiptoed into the yard and was really suprised to see how much color, how much nature exists in this pit of pitifulness. The birds were chirping, the cicadas humming and the squirrels doing whatever squirrels do, which is mostly yelling at the birds to get off their lawn.

morning feedThe blackberries that were there two weeks ago are gone, replaced by some other kind of berry, probably poisonous. I caught a fly munching on one of the berries and he posed for the camera, but stupid me, I went into the jungles of my yard without my macro lens. I thanked the fly and moved on.

The flowers on the bushes are really very pretty; vivid colors, nice shape, no idea what they are because I'm not horticulturally inclined. I had a fleeting thought about keeping the bushes up when we redo the yard, but the flowers are too far and few between to justify that; the straggly branches and wild-haired leaves make me feel like the plants are in attack mode and will soon sprout claws and fingers, which they will use to drag me into their lair, which is probably inhabited by ugly trolls and leprauchans. Now, if they would come out for a photo shoot, that would really be something.

Hey, I'm just trying to make the best of what I've got right now. To you, it's a crappy looking backyard that needs ten thousand dollars worth of work to look even remotely decent. To me, it's a haven for evil creatures that lurk in the land of the living, wild bush. You take what you can get.

I'm about to go outside and try to get the squirrels and birds to pose for a group shot. I find they are usually very cooperative on Sunday mornings, as my neighbors do all their rude, loud yard work on Saturday mornings. At 7am. All of living nature disappears from our yard at the first sound of lawnmowers, power saws and some guy with eight miles of asscrack blasting Journey from a staticky boom box.

I'm not a big fan of birds. I think they are kind of evil, maybe satan's spawn, maybe messengers of the anti christ. If you look into a bird's eye, it will steal your soul. Bet you didn't know that. But they take time off from evilness on Sunday mornings. It's like their sabbath. Very few humans, save for the paper guy and the random jogger, venture out early in the AM on Sundays. So they can fly and flutter and peck on the trees without the noise of cars or jackhammers shooing them away. They put away their satan wings and do birdy things like chirp and sing and make babies. As people wake up, they step outside to fetch the paper or greet the dawn of a new day and the birds, having had their time of rest, get back to stealing souls and shitting on your head.

Sundays are for the birds. And they're waiting for me to photograph them. It's a little deal we have; they don't eat my soul if I make them out to look cute and benign in pictures. I'm probably not holding up my end of the bargain.

Or maybe I am.


[all bird photos]


For what it's worth, I hardly ever crank up the yard equipment on Saturdays before nine.

And actually, your back yard sounds like my front yard, which has about 18 percent actual grass, 5 percent bare spots, and the balance every broadleaf annoyance known to man or the Home Depot.

the pink flowers are hibiscus, and the berries are virginia creeper, not edible, but birds love them. The bird on the line looks like a mourning dove.
You should get out there more Michelle, nature is good for your soul, it makes you centered. We worry about you!

Ah, Michele, but you are wrong about this! Birds are made out of love.

It is true, though, that they steal your soul...and mind too.

I recommend that you get to know some bird people who have parrots. I have six parrots and they are the joy of my life.

As far as their strange behavior, here is the True Secret of Birds: They are the subversives of the animal word. They want you to think they are merely sweet little chirping creatures, but here's a lot more going on in their little heads.

And pooping? That's what they do best.

We bird people ARE obsessed...and crazy. But we're so happy we don't care!

Thanks for the bird pictures, btw.


This is non-negotiable.

What kind of camera do you have michele, and what kind of macro lens did you forget to take outside?

I have a Nikon Coolpix 5700, with a "Digital High Definition 0.45X Wide Angle Lens With Macro" which is kind of generic and I bought off of eBay (along with three extra battteries, which have really come in handy).

Tens of thousands of dollars?

Wow, you must be planning to put Nat and DJ on the clock at a substatntial rate, with a fully vested 401K...

...unless of course, you haven't considered the possibility of using the live in lawn service...hmmm?

Dammit! I forgot to do the math. Tens of thousands of Long Island Dollars = 49.95 elsewhere.

my bad!

Michele: LOL! Hard for me to belive, but I guess parrots aren't to everyone's liking.