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Poetry Sunday: It Is Not Always May by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

May has been called the "queen of months" and for good reason. At least in the northern hemisphere, it is likely the most pleasant of months. But as the poet says, we should enjoy it while it lasts for it is not always May. It Is Not Always May by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow The sun is bright,the air is clear, The darting swallows soar and sing, And from the stately elms I hear The blue-bird prophesying Spring. So blue yon winding river flows, It seems an outlet from the sky, Where waiting till the west wind blows, The freighted clouds at anchor lie. All things are new; the buds, the leaves, That gild the elm-tree's nodding crest, And even the nest beneath the eaves; There are no birds in last year's nest! All things rejoice in youth and love, The fulness of their first delight! And learn from the soft heavens above The melting tenderness of night. Maiden, that read'st

Home again!

Yes, it's true! I am home again after my INTERMINABLE stay in the hospital and then a nursing home. (Well, actually a few days.) The old homestead never looked so good to me as when my daughter turned the car onto our street. I want to thank my readers who offered their good thoughts and wishes to me following my accident. You are SO much appreciated! The ankle is still broken and in a most uncomfortable "boot" so I'm learning to navigate a wheelchair and a walker. But it will heal and this will pass. It just gives me a great deal of appreciation and empathy for those who must deal with such encumbrances as a usual part of their lives. Again, thank you for remembering me, and keep sending that positive energy my way! 

Note to readers

 I am currently in the hospital, having fallen and broken my right ankle. After this I will have to go to a rehab center for a while so posting may be sketchy. Keep me in your thoughts as I try to heal.

This week in birds - #585

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  A roundup of the week's news of birds and the environment : My 'Christmas Cheer' dwarf azalea is in bloom. Obviously, its calendar or its name is a bit off. The plant was a gift to me on the death of my mother twenty-three years ago this month and I treasure it. *~*~*~* The swallowtail butterflies are beginning to make their appearance so it must truly be spring. *~*~*~* Are you ready for the solar eclipse on April 8 ? Plants and animals, unlike you, might not be able to anticipate the eclipse but they will respond as Nature disposes them to. *~*~*~* Climate change is increasing the chances of glacial lake floods in the Andes. *~*~*~* What are the signs that spring is truly here to stay? *~*~*~* Should orcas be split into two distinct species ? *~*~*~* Punxsutawney Phil and Phyllis have welcomed two baby groundhogs to the family. *~*~*~* How do birds manage to remember where they have stored food? It turns out they create a kind of memory barcode to guide them. *~*~*

Afterlives by Abdulrazak Gurnah: A review

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This story is set in East Africa in the early 20th century and follows the lives of three people - Ilyas, Afiya, and Hamza. Ilyas and Afiya are brother and sister and Hamza is in love with Afiya. Ilyas was stolen from his family when he was just a child. He was stolen by German colonial troops and was forced to fight in their war against his own people. After years of fighting in their wars, when he is finally able to return home, he finds his family gone. His parents are no longer in their home and his sister has been given away. Hamza, on the other hand, was sold into the war. He grew up under the tutelage and protection of the German officer who "owned" him. He would become an "Askari" soldier (local soldiers who served in the German Colonial Army). Both Hamza and Ilyas fought voluntarily for the Germans but they seemed to have little understanding of the political implications of the conflict.  Abdulrazak Gurnah was the 2021 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literat

Ten Second Staircase by Christopher Fowler: A review

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Here's another Bryant and May mystery. They are always fun reads and Ten Second Staircase does not disappoint. (Although, having now finished reading the book, I still have no idea where that title came from or what it means.)  In this one, Bryant's and May's unit, the Peculiar Crimes Unit of the London Police, is just about to be disbanded as part of a departmental reorganization. But where will that leave our two octogenarian detectives who have no desire to retire? In order to forestall that imminent closure, the detectives need to solve a couple of cases, one old and one new, both of which have their basis in the historic London mythology of classic crime.  To aid in their investigations, this time around their unit has a new addition, May's granddaughter, April. And, of course, she has her own set of peculiarities in that she is agoraphobic. The modern-day mystery here involves a series of second-tier celebrities being killed in very elaborate ways. A witness to o

Poetry Sunday: To Daffodils by Robert Herrick

What flower is more emblematic of spring than the daffodil? Poet Robert Herrick certainly found it to be so. And like the daffodil, our "spring," too, is all too brief.  To Daffodils by Robert Herrick Fair Daffodils, we weep to see You haste away so soon; As yet the early-rising sun Has not attain'd his noon. Stay, stay, Until the hasting day Has run But to the even-song; And, having pray'd together, we Will go with you along. We have short time to stay, as you, We have as short a spring; As quick a growth to meet decay, As you, or anything. We die As your hours do, and dry Away, Like to the summer's rain; Or as the pearls of morning's dew, Ne'er to be found again. Note : This poem always brings to mind one of my favorite songs by Ian and Sylvia back in the day. (Yes, I am that old!)