[Tweeters] Sky High

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Wed Aug 27 09:43:33 PDT 2014

Yup, it's that time of year again - the Termite Flight.
I guess everyday is termite time underground, or in a rotten log, but now in late Summer is when winged male and female Dampwood Termites launch off to go where no termite has gone before - maybe - and start new colonies. The past few days I've been seeing them fly around - potential dragonfly and bird food.
Yesterday, while working near the sky atop Mount Gibson (the roof of my parents house), I enjoyed listening to the loud gurgling song of Purple Martins overhead, a regular phenomenon here this sunny summer. I think of them as the "Blue Sky Bird", because on these warm clear days the loud martins are often heard, but up so high, hard to see. It seems as if the sky itself is singing.
For some strange reason Gibson's tend to live next door to hospitals and have martins calling overhead in summer- my folks here in Port Townsend and the Jefferson Co. hospital; and me in Everett , in the shadow of Snohomish County's tallest building, Providence hospital - not far from the Everett waterfront martins. Kind of funny.
Anyway, yesterday afternoon all of a sudden a fair number of Starlings appeared in the sky overhead and circled around for quite awhile - flycatching. One was low enough to see it get a termite, but most were up over 100',- and all were nabbing something. Then off they went.
At dusk I was putting away some ladders in the garage, when I noticed movement by the base of a retaining wall - dozens of winged termites pouring out of the ground and immediately taking flight. It was like the earth was leaking termites into the sky.
I thought it was pretty sneaky,termites getting out under the cover of darkness, to avoid the birds - but then what about the bats. Maybe, lacking sunglasses, it was easier on the eyes of these subterranean's in transition. I don't know.
Jeff Gibsonbugging you again fromPort Townsend Wa

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