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Saturday, May 7, 2005

The gray sky might have dampened the spirits of those of us of the human persuasion, but it didnít seem to bother the birds at all. Even with so little sunshine there were birds in my garden and on my porch all day long. I walked out the front door this afternoon and was serenaded by a house finch in the birch tree. He sang and sang, and puffed his chest and cocked his head. Whatever was on his mind must have been so compelling that my presence didnít disturb him.

I did disturb the pair of orioles that were around for the first time this year. I was walking back from getting the mail, and they were in the bush just inside the fence. When I came around the corner, they screeched and groused and took off in a great fluttering of bright yellow and black wings. They were loud and colorful, but too timid to stick around.

As I was sitting and watching the ballgame this afternoon, I was also watching the swallows darting in and out and around the beams on my back porch. My swallows almost always fly so high over the yard that I have to identify them by their distinctive flight patterns and tail feathers. For once they were so close that I could almost look them in the eye.

Iíve mentioned before that I love swallows for the pure joy they seem to have in the very act of flying. Thatís the way Iíd be, I think, if I could fly. Just happy to be doing it.

7 May 2005

Study in gray and black.

The little birds didnít seem to be disturbed by the turkey vultures circling low over the estate. At times the buzzards would fly so low that their wingtips would brush against the high grasses (that I still havenít had a chance to cut). With the smaller birds darting over and under the buzzardsí wings, it was like being in the middle of a George Lucas battle scene.

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In a game the Giants fought so hard to come back and win, why would you (assuming you are manager Felipe Alou) throw a young pitcher in his second major league game into the ninth inning to try to save a one-run lead? Jeremy Accardo has a great future, but he wasnít ready for this. He gave up the tying run on a walk, a wild pitch, an infield out and a sacrifice fly. A couple of walks and a single later, Ryan Church came up against Jim Brower and hit his second three-run double in two games, lifting the Nationals to an 11-8 win. Life without a closer is tough, but thatís when a managerís decision-making is tested.

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"I'm learning more legal language all the time these days. Apparently 'conveyances' aren't stage coaches and donkey carts, and 'instruments' aren't bassoons and flugelhorns."

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