[Tweeters] On a Calm Winters Day

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Sun Dec 25 10:40:17 PST 2016

Yesterday was sort of mixed bag of weather - mostly gloomy, but with a few sun breaks - where I was working on a job along Oak Bay (south of Indian and Marrowstone Islands). But it was very calm - a wonderful thing after a long stretch of cold winds around here.

As I got out of my truck the property was alive with birds, also enjoying the calm it seemed. As I walked downhill through the wet meadow there, I nearly tripped over some Golden-crowned Kinglets foraging on the ground in the soggy grasses and weeds. Very tame, they actually came up closer to me - this happened repeatedly through the afternoon - maybe they thought I'd stir up some bugs for 'em. These little green birds blended fabulously into the meadow colors, only given away by their movement and brightly colored crowns, very showy from only a few feet away.

Well that was a nice color treat on a grey day, yet it was soon outdone by some Anna's Hummingbirds. On another trip to my truck, a male Anna's peeled off the feeder on the cabin porch and flew, at great speed and straight as an arrow on a flight path aimed very near my furry head. It's very exciting to be shot at by an arrow with a flaming magenta head, let me tell you. I flinched at the last second as the hummer zoomed by only missing me by a foot. It continued straight on to it's roosting spot in some brush right at my eye level, so I slowly moved toward it, getting up to only a few feet away. The little guy was breathing heavily, so maybe he got some near collision excitement too. More close up views of about the brightest color you'll ever see in these parts, then the fade to black as the hummer turned it's head - refraction being sort of a smoke-and-mirrors color trick.

I wasn't getting paid to watch birds, so back down the slope to my job removing Himalayan Blackberry's. Once again I enjoyed the velcro-like relationship I've had with this cane over the years - the blackberry providing the "hooks", and my clothing providing the "loops". Being so calm I was heating up and took my coat off, which led to another bit of winter brilliance - my own blood. Wearing a shirt with sleeves too short, my forearm was exposed to the very sharp berry hooks. This was another test of a new drug I've started using - a blood thinner my surgeon prescribed after my vascular surgery early in the year. The stuff really works - I bleed a bit easier than I used to, but not too much - not gushing or anything. It's still that nice bright red color - even brighter than rose hips.

Of course I prefer to see my blood in small bits. It did get me imagining about running into some vampires over across the Olympic mountains in the town of Forks. Apparently somebody wrote a book and made a Tee Vee show or something about vampires in the general Forks area, and now some folks might believe there really are some.

Anyhoo, I imagined a couple of Forks vampires sizing me up as a beverage choice:

"Aw, I can smell the blood-thinner from here" said the first vampire as it lurked up to me in that creepy vampire way. "And look at this scrawny guy. He'd be like drinking a 16oz can of Blood Light. May as well drink water!".

"Yes, I prefer a thicker drink myself - a stout, or a porter, or a stout porter - remember that trip to Nepal?" noted the second vampire.

"Yeah, that was great" said the first. " But there are a lot of tasty lagers here in Forks".

"Yup" agreed the other "lots of lagers in Forks".

Well my natural coagulants kicked in, and I continued working, and enjoyed the calm. After tuning in to all the bitty birds, I was somewhat surprised when some Bald Eagle's flew by the beach bluff- one landing in a fir only 50 ft away. It was so quiet I could hear it ruffling it's feathers as it settled on it's perch. Pretty neat.

Jeff Gibson

reporting from

Jefferson Co. Wa

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