Monday, November 30, 2009

Nancy, David H., Ed, and I got up at five o’clock to go fishing for Maji Maji. We were on the boat heading out of the marina at six o’clock. Ed caught the first and only fish of the morning at a quarter to seven. Fantastic day... maji maji for supper tonight, and for the rest of the week. The fish weighted over twenty-five pounds. Later in the day we drove for half an hour from the warm beach house where we are staying up to a cloud forest where it was cool enough in the middle of the day for a jacket.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY FOR ME WAS COMING UPON A FLOCK OF VERY SMALL MOURNING DOVES THAT HAD TAKEN IN A SAFRON FINCH. The finch stayed close to one of the doves which was obviously its special friend. There seemed to me to be a great lesson here. Anybody who follows my journal and blog knows how much I like doves and pigeons... in fact, all of the members of the columbidae family of creatures. Researchers have found them to be very intelligent birds. Columbidaes can identify themselves in a mirror. This dove knows it has taken to protect a creature different from itself.LIKE NO OTHER CARDINAL I've ever seen, the yellow-beaked cardinal sits on porch rails, lava rocks by the surf, and in exotic trees.THE SEA BEHIND OUR HOUSE is home to green sea turtles that feed on algae.WE ENJOY BEING IN A GREAT HOUSE ON A GREAT LAVA BEACH. Sleeping to the sound of the pulse of the Pacific is easy.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Late Lunch or Early Dinner Lu Lu's Restaurant in Kona. Jerral, Margaret, Nancy, Ed, David H. and David M.The house on the beach in Kona...

Friday, November 27, 2009


I love the word but,
just three letters,
two consonants and a vowel.
When it intrudes on a thought,
interrupts an idea,
stops what was thought to be logic
dead in its tracks,
nothing is left unexamined.
The whole world vibrates,
sits up and takes notice
waiting for the other shoe to fall.
There is nothing subtle about it.
A rhetorical question sneaks around an idea
slipping up on the process of thought
as if to keep it from running away.
But doesn't pull any punches.
It says, "You may have thought this.
I'll tell you another way to look at it."
And, ready or not, you get the new angle
on whatever idea it was you were considering
before the little contrary consonant jumped in
to force another look at the issue.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Who does not thank for little will not thank for much.
- Estonian proverb

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The pigeon pictures are better viewed larger... Click on an image to enlarge it.
I have a friend who knows pigeons. When he was a boy growing up in Baghdad, he kept pigeons on the flat roof of his house. When he first told me about raising pigeons, I assumed they were a source of food; but I was wrong. In many places pigeons are raised for food, but my friend and his neighbors kept them for the sheer joy of seeing them fly. Watching anything for the sheer joy of it appeals to me. I did that today when I came across a great flock of pigeons sitting on utility wires above the Mission Valley trolley tracks.
While I watched, at a signal which I didn’t hear or see, all of them lifted in unison from the wires and did what seemed like a choreographed aerial maneuver above where I stood with my bike... and then they settled gracefully down onto the wires again. I was lucky to have my camera ready for the show.

My friend told me that In the early evenings in Baghdad, people would release flocks of pigeons simultaneously to fill the skies of a neighborhood with their acrabotic flight, swooping and rising and turning to the delight of people who watched from their rooftops. He was describing a practice that was common forty years ago. I wonder if it still happens today. I hope so.

While I like the idea of keeping pigeons to watch them fly, I’m not sure I can get excited about keeping them for the same reason some people keep race horses. I read that a champion racing pigeon can be released 400 to 600 miles away from its home and still return within a day. I learned also that all pigeons have the ability to return to their roost, even from great distances. There are many theories about how these birds manage to find their way “home.”
I learned also that pigeons and doves are basically the same bird. They constitute the bird family Columbidae. Most of the “city” pigeons we see all over the world are feral rock pigeons. Baby doves and baby pigeons are called squab. I’ll know how to refer to them when they are hatched next spring in the nest outside my study window.