I mentioned in my Bird Brain post that I listen to podcasts when I’m stuck walking along the sidewalks and roadsides. Don’t worry, I can hear traffic and other noises through my headphones! If you see my laughing or giggling as I walk, or looking particularly perplexed, it’s because of those little voices in my ears. I thought I’d share a few that I have found interesting.
Have you heard of CRISPR? I didn’t until I listened to Radiolab. These podcasts make me realize how small and sheltered my life really is.
A quick drive to the grocery store–a 15-minute trip is just enough time to listen to Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame The Way I Heard It,
Another short podcast I like that’s fun and interesting is Good Job Brain. The podcast is part quiz show, so sometimes it makes me feel smart, sometimes not.
And the one I listen to most often, that makes me laugh and think and shake my head as I”m walking down the street is Real Time With Bill Mahr. This is basically a rebroadcast of his HBO show. Mahr is blunt, and if you’re offended by four letter expletives, prepare to be offended. You can also watch the show on YouTube.
I listen to all of these through my Google Play app. But there are lots of other ways to find them. The links above take you directly to those that have them on their websites.
With the two day heatwave we’re having and thunderstorms to bring the sudden heat to an end tonight, I’m afraid my tulips will not last long. So here is a quick picture (and a quick spring poem). The world is a greening, unfurling, sweet urgent leafing thing today!
The tree trunks are drizzled black.
Raindrops reflect in tiny parabolic mirrors on the opening petals of tulips.
Under the earth thousands–millions–of secrets send tentative shoots towards the tomorrow sun.
This is a nativity, nature born in the cool wash of spring rain.
It’s been very un-May-like. Yesterday, I caught myself dating things April 9, 2017 several times. We’ve had torrential rain and it’s been cold. I have to remember this is Ontario, where we have seen snow on the Victoria Day weekend. But, hopefully, it’s a sign that warmer weather is coming when the summer birds start appearing. We feed year ’round, so we always have chirping and twittering in the backyard–not to mention squirrels and chipmunks who practically beat on the back door when the food runs out. The American Goldfinches are always here, and they have finally traded their drab winter khaki to bright yellow again.
The first spring birds back around here are Canada Geese and redwing blackbirds. Robins stayed all winter this year, so they almost don’t count as spring bird. As soon as the snow has melted the woodcocks start making their ‘pneet’ noise. And the killdeer return. The Northern Flickers soon follow. I’ve been counting mergansers, swans, kingfishers, cormorants and the other water birds and sending my counts to eBird since the ice melted.
But the birds that like the warmer weather hold back. Barn swallows returned about ten days ago. Yesterday while driving, I saw a Brown Thrasher. This morning, at the hummingbird feeder we put out about a week ago, a Baltimore Oriole was feeding. DH and I have a bet who will see the first hummer.
It’s a colourful backyard this morning. The brilliant yellow finches are dining on nyjer seed, a pair of Northern Cardinals are at the big feeder, and the Orioles are dining on orange slices. Meanwhile, the squirrels are battling, plotting how to pillage the feeders.
Whatever I buy I always try to buy “green”. I look for the environmentally friendly, not tested on animals, recyclable stuff. It’s part of my personal strategy to try to leave as small a foot print on this bedraggled old earth as I can.
Recently my strategy backfired a little. I went to an office supply store to buy pens. Now, if you are looking for environmentally friendly writing instruments pickings are slim.
Everything, including some pencils is made from plastic. Where else do those plastics end up but in the landfill? I’m not sure that plastic pens are a major contributor to overflowing landfill but, I figure every bit counts. And, I am a writer so I need pens
Imagine my joy when my eyes alighted on a shelf wobbler advertising “Green Pens”. Perfect. No doubt they were pens made of a recyclable plastic or something. And, they were on sale. I grabbed a box and went on my way.
Your brain probably works faster than mine does. You’ve figured it out. But, I had to get home and start writing to find out the pens I had bought were green pens-with green ink-a whole box of them. At least they were on sale.