Friday, February 20, 2009

A Short List of Things That Are More Important Than Fighting This War.........

....the call of warm spring soil for new seeds
...the soft bump of a single heartbeat
...the next season the next sunrise the next sentence the next song
...a single unshelled sunflower seed
...the last remaining individual of the rarest species on earth
...the rings of Saturn and reason for climbing Everest
...a liter of liquid sunlight
...the rotation of an owl's head
...all the math you learned or didn't learn in high school
...each one of the countless neglected peaceful solutions to this conflict
...the need to do something about our ridiculously short lives
...alpenglow and chiaroscuro
...the prehistoric cry of a startled Sandhill Crane
...winds that blow over sun-blistered sea waves
...the second hour after midnight leg of a millipede
...the tenderness needed to properly care for today
...the knowledge that a list a thousand pages long would still be...

....A Short List of Things That Are More Important Than Fighting This War.

Leonard Nolt

Three Poems by Other Poets

Today I'm thinking about poetry and three of my favorite poems, all three which I've just read for the umpteenth time. In addition to being favorites of mine I believe they are also well-written and very powerful poems. The three are Billy Collins' "Japan," at, Dorianne Laux's "Family Stories", and Heather McHugh's "What He Thought" at I hope you like them too.

Leonard Nolt

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bird Count

For the past three days I've been participating in the annual Great Backyard Bird Count The rules are simple. Spend a minimum of 15 minutes on one of more the four days of the count (Feb 13-16, 2009). Count the greatest number of individuals of each species that you see together at any one time. Then submit the information to the web site. On the 13th I spent 15 minutes observing the bird feeders in my back yard, and saw only two species, two who usually are seen here the Dark-eyed Junco and the House Finch; about 4 of each. On Valentine's Day I spent an hour along the Boise River just west of Glenwood and saw 17 American Widgeon, 160 Mallards, 4 Canada Geese, 1 Herring Gull and 1 Northern Flicker. Today I spent a little over an hour at Kathryn Albertson Park and about 15 minutes at Ann Morrison Park. I saw over 400 Canada Geese and over 250 Mallards but also 63 Am. Widgeons, 18 Wood Ducks, 10 Gadwalls, 4 Red-wing Blackbirds, 1 Cooper's Hawk, 1 Common Merganser, 2 Hooded Mergansers, 3 Robins, 1 Magpie, and a few others such as Starlings and House Finches. Tomorrow I am tentatively planning to leave by 2 or 3 pm and walk the six miles to work along the Greenbelt besides the Boise River. That will be the last day of the count and my last contribution. It's been fun and makes me want to do more birding...............


.....................I walked the app. 6 miles to work on Monday, the 16th along the Greenbelt. Great way to spend a holiday! I've taken that route to work before but this time it was to watch and try to count the birds along the way. Even though I left home at 2:45pm to get to my 6:00 pm work shift I didn't have near enough time to do justice to the all that I could have seen and counted. But the highlights included a pair of Northern Shovelers in a slough near Willow Lane Park; a male Ruddy Duck on the lake at Veteran's Park, 8 Common Mergansers on Lake Harbor, 25 Ring-billed Gulls on some sand and stones in the Boise River, and the most spectacular of all since, seeing the pair of Hooded Mergansers yesterday, were 25 Wood Ducks on the river just west of the Veteran's Parkway bridge, 19 males and 5 females, a very hopeful ratio... if you're a female Wood Duck.

Leonard Nolt