Showing posts from May, 2010

Surprisingly Small Birds and Soft Snakes

Saturday May 29, 2010      Today the big park near our house was having its first ever "Spring Bird Festival", so Steve and I went to see what we could see (which turned out to be quite a bit).      The first booth we came to had volunteers from the University of Guelph's Wildlife Education & Environmental Programs (WEEP), who had brought along four birds of prey who are unreleasable to the wild.  Steve was surprised that Einstein the Great Horned Owl was so big, but the volunteers said he is on the large side for his species. "Here's a theory of relativity: I'm relatively huge!"      What I couldn't believe was that the kestrel they had was so small . Okay, so her missing tail feathers may have made her seem a little smaller than usual, but still... In birding guidebooks and such, the American Kestrel is often described as being similar in size to an American Robin.  Now I don't know how often birds face off Sharks v. Jets-style,  bu

Postcard Fiction: What the Best Man Wins

The thick smell slid deep inside me, stirring up trouble. I never woulda guessed a bowl of soup could make me hate my best friend, but the longer Jim took with that damned speech, the hollower and sicker I felt. Every gurgle of my stomach made me more sure this so-called toast was just Jim’s way of keeping me from what he knew would be my first meal of the day. He's never been long-winded, but he loves to be in control, right down to last night's bachelor party I said I didn't want. Now he was holding me for a little bit longer, every new joke and old story telling me that no new wife could keep me from following his lead. I looked up at him standing beside me and coulda swore I saw him wink just before he started into some new bit about what happens when a man looses his independence to a woman. Always the agreeable one, I turned my back on my bride and, with a raise of my glass, retched a symbol of my freedom onto my best man’s best pants. An earlier version of W