I am Meg Moseley. Meg, a writer. Seeking the real God in the real world.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Going to the birds

Sometime during Feb. 16-19, I'm going to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count. This is a simple activity and doesn't take much time. You count birds, and you enter your counts online. The results are used to guesstimate the well being of various types of birds and how general patterns of bird populations vary from year to year. It's not entirely scientific, but it gives ornithologists some useful data.

We have several feeders and suet holders in our back yard, and we've attracted a good variety of birds. Woodpeckers: hairy, downy, red-bellied, and red-headed. Cardinals, goldfinches, purple finches, house finches, pine siskins, blue jays, Carolina chickadees, nuthatches, tufted titmice, rufous-sided towhees, and even one beautiful hawk who strolled across the deck, looking for dinner. He was either a Cooper's hawk or a sharp-shinned. He flew away too soon, before I could nail down the slight differences.

We also see lots of sparrows, including house sparrows. My husband loathes house sparrows because they sometimes kill baby bluebirds and take over the bluebird houses. We also have other sparrows, but I can't tell what kind they are. They're all LBJs to me. Little Brown Jobs.

Since I decided to do the G.B.B.C., I've been paying more attention to the birds, trying to nail down some of the more confusing varieties so my data will be more accurate. Sometimes, a tiny "field mark" like an eyestripe or a wingbar is a clue. But the little buggers often fly away before I've had a chance to really look at them. I'm learning to look fast and hard then remember the details as I frantically flip through the pages of the bird book. It's good training in paying close attention.

And it makes me wonder about a few things. For instance, why don't pigeons have more consistent coloring? With rare exceptions, a chickadee will always look like the next chickadee, but pigeons show a wide variety of coloration. Why did God design them that way? Does anybody have a theory? And is anybody else going to try the G.B.B.C.? It would be fun to compare notes.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Suzan's satire

My friend Suzan Robertson has written a little satire about classic literature versus the church-lit version of being P.C. Check it out. I'll bet you'll enjoy it, unless you're Joshua Finney.

A few days ago Suzan lent me a pile of good books, as she often does. I tend to read three at once, which scrambles my brain, but I suppose a little scrambling is good for creativity. The current three are Jolie Blon's Bounce by James Lee Burke, When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin, and Saint Maybe by Anne Tyler. Very different stories, very different styles, but I'm enjoying all three.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Six weird things.

My friend Deeanne Gist tagged me today to play "Six Weird Things About Me."

Oh, boy. Like I needed to be reminded. Ha!

Here goes.

1. I don't do numbers. My brain simply refuses to process them. Ask me what year my car is, and I can't tell you. Ask me how old I am, and I have to stop and do the math. (This is 2007, and I was born in, um . . . ?) And, after 27 years of marriage (or is it 26?) I still don't have my husband's Social Security number memorized.

2. I cannot abide the taste of almond extract. The nuts themselves are okay, but I can't handle marzipan or almond-flavored anything. I don't even like the scent of Jergens hand lotion because it's almond-scented, or at least it used to be. I don't buy it, so I can't be sure.

3. I once made a near-sighted roommate freak out by floating a life-sized picture of a guy's face in the toilet bowl. I guess she thought he'd come up out of the sewer to say good morning. Where did I get the idea? I have no clue.

4. I have a hard time climbing onto my husband's motorcycle from the right side. I have to climb on from the left. I could make up a name for that. Bodily asymmetrical coordination dysfunction or something like that.

5. Back in 1979, I went to bed and slept through a hurricane. Deliberately. Because somebody had to be wide awake in the morning, right?

6. A friend and I once got a behind-the-scenes look at the Jungle Boat ride at Disney World by walking through a gate that said "Employees Only." (Or whatever they call employees there.) We stood there in the "jungle" and waved at the tourists going by. Some of them waved back. The guides didn't notice us, and none of the tourists turned us in.

7. Wait. I only had to do six, right? Or am I scrambling my numbers again?

Now I have to find some other people to pick on. Let's see.... Suzan R., Lindi P., Amy W., and Cindy W. Ladies, are you game?