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Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Struggle

Vanity, like money is the root of many problems.  It causes stress as we struggle to look a certain way or buy stuff we don't need. Vanity might even cause us and/or our leaders to think we have all the answers and therefore have the right or even responsibility to control the government of another country.  For a red-bellied woodpecker in my back yard, its vanity is linked to its survival.

Territory is important to the black and white speckled bird. They are larger than most song birds and need an area large enough to provide them with enough food.  They don't need more competition for food, mates or nesting sites. 

One barred back tough-guy was having alot of problems in my back yard. Staring out of my library window was another, identical red-bellied woodpecker. This intruder even mimicked everything our bird did.  While our fellow must have thought the new guy was beautiful, he could not stay! Our woodpecker spend day after day attacking fighting his reflection in that window.  It took me awhile to realize what was going on.  For several days I had seen the woodpecker resting on the gabled roof just below the window but it wasn't until I looked through the window from inside that I noticed the small downie feathers stuck to the window along with all the marks left from the constant attacks. 

Luckily the new bird only showed up on sunny days. Hour by hour the home bird fought the intruder, propelling himself from the roof to the window. Still, the intruder never tired. I tried lowering the blinds which only made a better reflection and the fight continued.  I would stand at the window in an effort to discourage the bird but he always came back.
    Finally I stacked books on each other to block out large parts of the glass.  Hopefully when the angle of the sun changes with the season the books won't be needed.  My delicate plants are stored in that room over the winter and need the sun that comes from that window.  I have bought some colored markers made to draw on glass.  I will try that and let you know how it works out.

Last night the sky above Parkersburg burst into flame as sundown approached.  The sky looked like the set from one of those end-of-the-world movies.This, though, was no apacolypse, rather it was a struggle repeated through the eons as day fights to hold on to the light.  Amid all the electric wires, cars and gaudy signs was a beauty that lasts only a moment. But what a grand moment it was. Each second brought a change to the burning sky. I was rooted to my spot, torn between savoring the view and clicking away with my camera in hopes of saving the moment and sharing it here. 

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