A is for animals

I noticed this spring that I was much more aware of the animals in my midst. I heard the birds more clearly, and I spotted a woodpecker, a blue jay, a cardinal, and perhaps the fattest robin, sitting on our fence, that I’ve ever seen.

The neighbor’s cat, an outside feline, seems to want to come to our house. More than once, he was sitting right at the front door, and once at the back door. We think this would engender a bad outcome, especially because our indoor male cat, Midnight, is sometimes barely pleasant to us and our girl cat, Stormy.

We made the mistake of leaving a used pitcher of maple syrup on the kitchen counter after having pancakes. The next morning, the pitcher was overrun by ants! Yuck. We hadn’t seen any before then, in months. Now that we’ve cut off the food supply, we still see a stray insect in the strangest places, such as on the ceiling. The Daughter does NOT like them.

During a severe thunderstorm on May 18, we saw something crossing our yard. But it wasn’t until a massive lightning flash that I could determine it was a skunk. I felt sorry for it, almost.

But our strangest visitor to our backyard has to be the woodchuck. We never had one before this year, but this one has come by at least a half dozen times. My wife and I decided we needed to name the creature, so we call him/her? – we have no idea! – Murray, after Bill Murray, who was involved in a popular movie about February 2.

Initially, he may have been attracted to the compost bin deep in the back of the yard. But he has ventured much farther towards the back porch, digging holes for no discernible reason, and eating the grass, likely the clover.

He almost got to the picnic table near the house one morning when the next-door neighbor came out and startled Murray. For a nearly round creature, he moved surprisingly fast.

So there’s our recent menagerie, wild and domesticated.

ABC Wednesday at its new home, Round 21

A is for Animal Adjectives

I’m in a bit of an animal rut groove the last couple weeks. I found this neat link to animal adjectives, most of which I never heard of. But it’s the familiar ones that got me thinking about how some of them get applied to people, sort of a reverse anthropomorphism.

These definitions come from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. They are in addition to “having the characteristics of” said animal.

aquiline – curving like an eagle’s beak (an aqualine nose)

elephantine – having enormous size or strength: massive; clumsy, ponderous (elephantine verse)

feline (cat) – sleekly graceful; sly, treacherous; stealthy
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Z is for at the ZOO

Simon & Garfunkel had been performing on their “Old Friends” tour this year, and I had been considering going to one of the shows in Massachusetts. Then I heard the show had to be canceled because of Art Garfunkel’s vocal paresis.

Old Friends/Bookends was the last pair of songs, segued together, on the first side of the 1968 S&G album, Bookends. The collection also featured “Mrs. Robinson”, “A Hazy Shade of Winter” and “America”.

At the Zoo was the last song on the second side of the album. (Remember when albums had “sides”?) Here’s a video of the song.

I recall really liking this recording when I was in high school, whereas my good friend Carol HATED it, and also the Beatles’ Strawberry Fields Forever; odd the things one recalls. And I was particularly fascinated by the attributes that Paul Simon assigned to the animals.

Someone told me
It’s all happening at the zoo.

I do believe it,
I do believe it’s true.

It’s a light and tumble journey
From the East Side to the park;
Just a fine and fancy ramble
To the zoo.

But you can take the crosstown bus
If it’s raining or it’s cold,
And the animals will love it
If you do.

Somethin’ tells me
It’s all happening at the zoo.

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