I stood in the yard early one morning recently, watching our dogs, waiting for them to relieve themselves. The sky was dark and I thought the air felt like rain would start soon. I was watching the dogs and I was considering different subjects for my next newspaper article.
It was quiet. There was no wind, no rustling of leaves. No insects buzzed. No birds sang, and I thought about that line in Silent Spring, the book by Rachel Carson. Should I write about “Silent Spring”, the book, and about Rachel Carson, again? Should I write about the birds that would start flying back and forth to the bird feeders around our house as it got light, if it didn’t rain, and even if it did rain, if the rain was light?
I’ve written about Rachel Carson and Silent Spring, more than once. I’ve written about all the birds that come to our bird feeders. I ticked them off in my mind, black-capped chickadee, white-breasted nuthatch, tufted titmouse, downy woodpecker, cardinal, blue jay, mourning dove, ruby-throated hummingbird, hairy woodpecker.
The dogs finished their business outside and followed me as I came back in the house. I went through the living room and the dining too, into the kitchen, got breakfast for the dogs and form myself, then returned to the dining room and sat down at the table to eat my breakfast and watch the birds as hey began flying to the bird feeders outside the dining room window.
Birds aren’t the only critters that come to those feeders. I have also seen squirrels, both red and gray. I’ve seen raccoons and I’ve seen chipmunks. When I tire of watching the birds at the feeders outside the dining room window I can move to my study and watch the birds coming to the feeder outside the window there, beyond my desk and computer.
In the field across the road from my home, which I see through my study window I saw two deer a few days ago, an adult and a spotted little one, a fawn. I often see deer in that field
I had a deer run into my car once. I was driving on a country road and the deer jumped out of the ditch beside the road and into the side of my car, right by the driver’s window. It didn’t break the window but it broke off the outside rear view mirror on that side of the car.
Should I write about some other mammal, a rabbit or a woodchuck, a field mouse or rat or muskrat, a beaver or mink, a fox or a skunk? Should I write about all the dead animals I see along the roads? I see more dead woodchucks than live ones.
I’m a dedicated bird watcher, a birder, as everybody who knows me s well aware. I’ve written many articles about birds, but I’ve written my articles about other subjects also. Consider the heeding of my newspaper column, Outdoor Notes. Anything outdoors is a possible subject for one of my articles.
Birds and bees, flowers and trees, other plants, I’ve had considerable experience with some plants, poison ivy and stinging nettles, mammals, amphibians, snakes, fish, weather. I was an early believer in global warming and I wrote that I was. It turned out that there were quite a few people who didn’t believe in global warming when I wrote about it and my disbelievers let me know they diapered with me.
“Everybody talks about the weather,” Dad said often, “but nobody does anything about it.” Dad was wrong. Cars and trucks, motor vehicles, add carbon dioxide to the air when they’re running so everybody who drives adds carbon dioxide to the air and affects air quality.