Thursday, September 15, 2011

An Autumn Game

Well it had to five magpie babies have grown up...almost.  On the surface, they now have glossy feathers, and long tails.  Their voices have changed from the higher pitched begging for food from their parents to normal magpie voices.  But they still have some of their juvenile activities.

A few weeks ago, I caught them playing  a game in front of the lilac the detriment of my flower bed.  One of them would swoop down, land on the walk and pluck the biggest marigold blossom off the plant.  With it firmly grasped in his beak, he (she?) would then fly off, leading the others in a frantic airborne game of Keep Away.

I have never seen magpies do this before, and it certainly left the flowers very much the worse for the wear.  They kept it up for about three weeks, off and on, and then quit the whole endeavor as suddenly as they began.  They have moved on to the sport is teasing the young squirrels who live in my trees.  The squirrel "kids" don't seem to fact, they run from the magpies, but if the birds stop chasing them, the squirrels turn and come back to find out why.

The magpies are a constant source of entertainment, and I am glad they stay for the winter.  When other birds have vanished toward the south, I know I can depend upon these hardy spirits to occupy the trees and talk among themselves.  All while wearing little bird tuxedos.  Amazing.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Mystery of the Pryor Mountains

I recently went into the Pryor Mountains to show the Big Ice Cave to my husband, Bob.  We spent the entire day up there amidst the profound mystery that fills the thin air on those heights.  These mountains have long been sacred to the Crow Nation, and it is easy to understand why this is.

If you take your time, do not move too fast, and tune in to what the places have to say, you will experience any number of sensations.  For me, it is the absolute knowledge that I am being watched (over) by the presence of all those who have gone before.  There also is that feeling that I am on sacred ground...a powerful thing. 

The most important thing for any traveller on these roads (which are really tracks through the rock that is the mountain) come with respect and a willingness to leave behind the hubbub of everyday living back here on the part of the planet we have dubbed "civilization."  The Pryors offer a world of nature in may climates, desert to forest, and for those lucky enough, they offer a spirit world too.

I am grateful for both.