Living together

Lichen are a lifeform formed from algae and fungi, which is amazing. Apparently they join forces when they can’t survive on their own and form a different creature. And it’s not just one kind of algae or one kind of fungi, but lots of them! I am reading Entangled Life: How fungi make our worlds, change our minds and shape our futures, by Merlin Sheldrake. It’s really quite amazing. I love science, it opens up the world!

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: lichen.

Feed the birds

I fill the bird feeder, a day late, because I had to go buy more birdseed. I also buy suet and fill that feeder. I walk both cats, harness and leash, one at a time. I put both of them in the outdoor screened animal container and they crouch, riveted watching the birdfeeder. I put four peanuts along the top of the fence.

I hold a fifth peanut in my hand over my head and wait. It starts snowing, just a little.

The flock of goldfinches, in their winter more subtle coloring, shows up. I count nine. The feeder can hold 6 at a time. They ignore my hand. A stellar jay comes by, but stays high in the tree. Chickadees pop in between the goldfinches. They are rounder and a little bigger and talk to me. No one comes to my hand. Juncos come to the ground beneath the feeder. The cats would REALLY like to catch them.

And then a bird does come. A hummingbird comes to my hand and hovers right by it! It does not land. It doesn’t like the peanut. It then goes and buzzes the glass, where I used to have a hummingbird feeder up, until the ants find it.

I laugh and get the other hummingbird feeder. I make food and wait for it to cool. I fill both feeders. The Anna’s hummingbird finds it within 15 minutes and eats a lot. The other feeder is on a different window, right outside my desk window. It is soon occupied by a second hummingbird.

I hope to have more photographs soon.

I took this out my desk window yesterday.

There is avian influenza around. I have two feeders and wash one very thoroughly in hot water and soap each time. I change the feeder out every time, to try to reduce the chance of the feeder passing on infection. And wash my hands very well too.

Though it’s rather more than tuppence a bag!

In the dark

I choose to dwell in the dark with the monsters.

I came here because I wanted to understand how people could be monsters. People turn in to monsters sometimes. Not the crazy people or the serial killers: just normal people. They have enormous fights in their families. They get drunk or use drugs. They kill themselves with cigarettes. They sit unmoving in front of the television. They fight family or close friends. Families sue each other over the parent’s will. They fight over the stuff or over mother or over who will take care of father. They disown each other. They say “I only let nice people in my life.” That leaves me out. And I don’t want anything to do with anyone who says that. That is monstrous. Do they turn the other cheek? Do they love their neighbor as themselves? No. They are monsters.

I kept studying the monsters and studying them, until I found my own. I rescued mine from a deep hole. The monsters were babies. They were filthy and frightened and crying and abandoned. I washed them and diapered them and fed them and wrapped them in blankets. They stared at me, sullen. They had no idea how to respond to being cared for. I had to learn to love them. I loved them right away, even though they were monsters. I cared for them and they grew up, loved, happy, adults.

And then I see the monsters in other people. People hide their monsters, stuff them in dungeons, neglect them, deny them, scream at them. The monsters realize that I can see them and they start crying. “Help us! Please! Let us out! We are cold! We are hungry! We are neglected!” I learn not to talk to the monsters until the person is gone. The person may never talk to me again if I acknowledge the monster. They think I am the monster. I’ve reminded them of theirs or named them! Most people hate it. I learn, slowly and painfully, that I can only talk to the monsters after their people leave. The monsters hang around. They tell me their stories. They tell me their misery. I hold them while they cry, heads in my lap, howling and breaking things. But eventually they have to return to their person, to their jail, to their suffering.

I like the monsters better than the people. Some people wear the monsters on the outside. Veterans, almost always. To keep people away. They come to clinic and try to scare me. This is very very difficult because I like the monsters. I am delighted to meet the monsters. This is startling and the veteran promptly calms down. I am not afraid. I like the people who wear their monsters on the outside: they are not hiding them. It’s the ones who hide and abuse and torture their monsters: I do not trust those people. And I feel huge grief and sorrow, pity for their monsters. I can’t fix them. The people must each turn to their own monsters. Let them come to consciousness. Face them, comfort them and at last, love them. And this is hard. It is very hard. It is a life time of work. It is emotional maturity. It has nothing to do with educational level. It is hard work worth doing.

I choose to dwell in the dark with the monsters. Because they need me most of all.

Blessings.

Frosted

Ok, it’s not frost, is it? It’s snow.

I went out each morning to get the frozen feeder and wrap a hot towel around it until TicTok could drink. TicTok would yell at me if I didn’t fix it as soon as it was light.

The Anna’s hummingbirds can overwinter here. It got well below freezing. They can slow their metabolism and do an overnight mini-hibernation. They are hungry as bears when they wake up!

Taken in 2019.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: frost.

Underground fungus networks

Mushrooms are the excrescences of underground fungus networks.

Excrescences! In my yard! At my home! Do the underground fungus networks make you reassured about the health of my yard or is it worrisome? Will the fungus grab me and pull me under?

We’ll have to wait and see.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: excrescence.