Watching birds

After yet another mountain of deadlines completed, I realize I?m a serial worker. I can?t blog and do all this other stuff at the same time. But now it?s getting back into the garden to be more than just an observer. The other day I was musing about this at the dining room table and watching a couple of teenage robins having a merry old time sunbathing, showering and fooling around on the sculpture fountain.I don?t think Reinhard Rietzenstein who created this marvelous work of art had any idea of what a multipurpose piece it is: The sounds masks much of the noise of the city; it?s a magnet for insects; and the bird population has been enormous.Earlier this year I saw a Scarlet tanager. At least that?s what it looks like in my bird book (I know nothing about birds). And the usual suspects who live here all the time (cardinals, robins, blue jays) zoom in and out. But it?s the robins that seem to enjoy it most of all.They sit on top of the bubbler and go crazy. Are they having some sort of sublime sensual experience? These two guys the other days were facing off each other, beak to beak, looking like they were taunting each other and having fun doing it.I?m not sure if you?re supposed to be anthropomorphic with birds or not. But there is something gangly and very male about the two birds who make this their spa/playground.Jostling for position, flapping back and forth, making a lot of wonderful racket.I have new and even greater respect for wild life photographers. I?ve worked with some of the best including Tony Beck (look at his web site you?ll see what I mean). The patience, the endurance waiting for that defining moment. I spent a good many hours and got a couple of rather crummy shots.Majorie?s Robin I?ve always been afraid of birds (sea gull attack as a child) but I?m getting more and more fascinated as I spend time sitting very still in the dining room with the huge screen down and windows wide open. Being still has never been easy for me, but I can do it when I?m watching plants and birds do what they are supposed to be doing. Getting this close to nature makes everything else worthwhile.I was on Fresh Air this a.m. with the wonderful Karen Gordon who managed to smoosh dozens of questions sent in by listeners into really good questions. The two annuals I mentioned are: Plectranthus ?Mona Lavender? and Euphorbia ?White Diamonds?. Both are superb if you can find them this time of the year. If not put them on your list for next year.