Tuesday, March 11, 2008

quaint vignettes from my charming rural idyll

I am battling-BATTLING I TELL YOU-allergies, and the allergies are winning. I am rendered comatose as inevitably as the conjunction of Condoleeza Rice and bad policy behind a mere 1 Benadryl antihistamine, and I'm spending up to 4 hours each day napping. In the brief reprieve between, I am trudging between the kitchen sink and the bathroom, drinking glass after glass of water to fight off the cottonmouth that decongestants bring on, getting rid of glass after glass of water a short time later, hoofing through the Charmin at an appalling rate and hoping that nothing makes me sneeze or crack up laughing suddenly all the while.

Too much information? Bite me.

This is all brought on by a combination of long-haired Girldog (who sheds fur in clots and drifts all year round) and what must be a virtual Apocalypse Of Tree Pollen going on outside here. Unlike the rest of the nation, we have been blessed with a mild and utterly unremarkable winter, and Spring has come early. This is pretty, but it is also far too early for any of the usual pollinators to be up and on the job, (although I've seen a couple of obese, confused bumbles staggering around,) so all this pollen is simply drifting in the wind. It collects and hardens into pale yellow ridges in the dew-marks on the windshield of my car. When you try to rinse it away it turns into pudding and leaves long greasy smears on the glass. You can only try not to imagine what it's doing inside your sinuses...a futile effort on my part since my sinuses seem intent on escaping the inward precincts of my head at velocity. And I'm not adverse at this stage of the game to letting them go, either. Give it a shot, you useless bastards. What have you ever done for me? Nothing, that's what.

The root cause of all t his difficulty lies in the fact that I get something called 'polyps' which are essentially blocked pores, only in mucous tissue and on the inside. While this image pleases a certain Lovecraftian side of my personality, particularly after I looked the condition up on the Internet and found pictures- that is not nearly enough recompense for a condition which is never less that a huge nuisance. I've lost jobs because of this shit. I've spent a good portion of my life with a sinus infection, which means no sense of smell and very little sense of taste, an immune system which is constantly under stress and a general feeling of wanting to lie down and be no fun whatsoever for months at a time. Yay!

At this point I must say: restrain yourself, gentle reader, from offering your remedies. I apreciate the gesture, but I have tried them all. Repeatedly. From the ridulous to the sublime.
All it does is remind me that having chronic sinusitis really pisses me off. And nobody wants that. K? Good.

On the up side, I have mastered the ladylike art of high-velocity spit-hocking. Not a dribble returns to it's point of origin, and the payload exits at a rate of speed that many in professional baseball have come to envy. I find my target with an unerring accuracy which only the mountain-born and intensively inbred can match.

There is nothing quite like the flush of pride that fills one after successfully having heart-punched a metal sign from across a 2-lane street with a pint of home-made, semi-solid pestilence.

There is nothing like the embarrassment that follows when you realize that you have done this while wearing full makeup and power business attire, employed as a receptionist for a large purchasing conglomerate, standing in front of a group of people that you work with.

The eagles are all in the middle of nesting now. This is one of the few times that find them actually hard at work, engaged in something other than standing around in large groups staring at nothing in particular.

Anyone who lives in the area will be glad to know that the farmer down on the corner of Garfield has set another dead calf out! This year it's back towards the trees on the south side of Badger before you get to the yellow loafing shed (instead of the north side next to the substation by the tracks.) You can easily pull over and take pictures without getting in the way of equipment.

This is what passes for an electrifying announcement in some circles, now, come on.

Yesterday I saw 12 eagles perched there in the alders watching while two more on the ground marched around and surveyed the whole 'dead calf' situation. We had a good rainstorm last night; once the sun comes out and tenderizes things the number of feathered spectators ought to increase.

I'm seeing a lot of shiny new adults this year, and lots of sow eagles too (yes I know they aren't referred to as sows; this is not venery, this is a localism so just put on your big kid underpants and deal with it.) They are obviously thriving and it does my heart good to see their numbers increasing every year.

I should be seeing the first of the hummingbirds next week, right around the 17th. Like the swallows returning to Capistrano, the hummingbirds returning to the Northwest can be timed just that precisely. You have to wonder how they know. The first place they head to is anywhere that the salmonberries and currants are blossoming, and that means the foothills around here.

If someone wanted to experience something in real life that rivals anything ever dreamed up by Kenneth Grahame, go find a south-facing valley in the foothills where a lot of salmonberries are beginning to open. Choose a sunny day. Right around 10 am, nestle down in the middle of the salmonberry thicket and just sit quietly. In a few minutes you will be surrounded by the zing and trill of hundreds of hummingbirds, all busily feeding and arguing and just out enjoying the morning. They soak themselves with dew and then in flying fling it off themselves in loops and sparkles that make brief small rainbows. They will look you over with the complete indifference of their superior status, comment, and then move on when you prove not to be forthcoming on the nectar front. They will come to rest on your knee and kick themselves vigorously, yawn, stretch, fluff their feathers, gaze around calmly, no bigger than little feathered grapes. If you are very deliberate you can touch the tip of your finger to the soft feathers of their back or stomach. It is like touching a flower petal. Sometimes they will fly away, but sometimes they won't; they'll just look at you sideways.

See, this is why I have no respect whatsoever for fantasy/roleplay gamers. I'm not woodcraft trained at all. I'm just a housewife who likes to go hang out in the forest. Yet I've had hundreds of experiences like this, just because I was THERE, and because I happened to be moving quietly and mindfully. Why on earth would you stay at home smelling your own laundry in the dark playing some stupid bullshit when you could be outside and experience real things that are better? For free?

People have totally forgotten that there is still strangeness and beauty in the real world. Go outside and get some nature on you today.


  1. get some nature on yah!! heh heh..

  2. I don't always like what you post, but by gum! you tell it like it is.
    ANd it's good to know the eagles (lazy buggers!) are fighting back.
    Daylight here now so I must check on Rufous nest.

  3. voices: nature is good!

    dinah: it was the snot, wasn't it. i knew it. nobody complains when i show, say, big greasy weenis or talk about vaginal baldness, but whip out the snot and THE WHOLE WORLD ENDS. *snuuuuuuuuuurk* ib biserable.

  4. Oh lord what a whopper , Its far too late to read all this tonight , I am going to read this oevr breakfast
    ***note to self dont order snotty eggs

  5. lovely imagery, fn. and i do mean the hummingbirds, not the polyps and you leaving snot rags all over the place.

    i'm sorry you've got sinus issues. mucinex really works. when paired with dayquil, it gives you a nice drifty feeling followed by sleepiness. then again, that could just be the effect it has on me.

  6. Nah, not your poor, sad nasal passages. I'm just not always "on the same page" when you write about some things.Doesn't mean I don't find it interesting...just not always familiar.My experience of some "chemical enhancers" is minmal!
    I grew up near a big pine forest and Spring time was hell.Hell with drips.

  7. oh damn! I came in from Peter's account...it's me, Dinahmow.

  8. I had terrible pollen allergies for years between about 6 years old and all through my teens - then when I was about 22 they just kinda stopped. No explanation at all. I am one of 4 brothers and we all had some kinda pollen allergy - but neither of our parents did. No explanation for that either...

    I used to do a lot of birdwatching by the way - and your post has inspired me to thing of the spring arrivals due here on the south coast of England soon, all kinds of swallows, martins and warblers... no humming birds or eagles here sadly, but nearby we get a nice passage of osprey and the tiney wonderfully elegant hobby, a sort of hawk .

  9. No remedies offered just two words "panty liners". I am just a road down from where our community eagle or 2 hang out on the town bridge. I like to think of them as our town sentinels. I need to make my yard more bird freindly but the squirrel rules. And finally, be proud of your 'snottiness', I myself am the burping queen.

  10. Chronic sinusitis? Polyps? Allergies?

    Is that all?

    We feared you were ill!

    This isSnot reason to avoid blogging. Oh no itsSnot.

  11. Right you are then

    ***rolls in cowpat***

    Are you sure this is more fun the Dungeons and Dragons ???

  12. How dreadful that the narrow, elongated, indentation between your adjoining lobes is fercockt...
    when worded like this it sounds like it would be a good thing that have that plugged!

    Your story about the patriotic "salt of the earth" farmer donating some veal for the air-rats was quite moving. Offering a sacrificial carcass to the King of Thieves is a beautiful image of national pride.

    Remember the Eagle's motto.
    I'll take that ((YOINK!))

  13. it's polleny here as well you know and some of us have streaming eyes on top of snot filled heads but we have bigger things to worry about LIKE COOKING!

    Saw my first hummingbird on St Kitts - couldn't believe how tiny and gorgeous it was. We have starlings here, exotic they ain't but they do do amazing displays.

  14. beast: chicken.

    pink: pardon me while i just pass out cold on the desk hereSSSNUUURK

    dinah: i knowed it was you!

    mr. the dog: birdwatching is great. i don't know why it's great; it just is. perhaps because it get you out into places that you would otherwise never notice, and you arent trying to kill something (like fishing. which i like, im just saying.)

    gale: thats fine for you to say, miss just got back from mexico woo woo look at me im all tan, i am SO cool cuz i been to mexico and you haven't so HA HA HA *runs off crying*

    mj: you like to drink and blog, don't you?

    beast: yes! thats EXACTLY what I meant! do it again!

    Lord Farthinlae von Wristwatch III:
    if eagles were humans, thy'd be that guy who always sat in the back of class with dark glasses on who never did anything but slowly scratch a hole through the surface of the desk with his pencil...day by day...just mindlessly etching his way through the layers of formica and chipboard....skritch...skritch...

    ziggi: Z took care of that for you! really! she did! i'd have said 'go hit Boston Market' but that would be a rather long swim for you so I just stood pat.

  15. *places pillow under fn's head*

    *takes compromising photos of fn while she's passed out cold...*

    *photoshops pictures of fn*

  16. Well I get big sinus problems as well! Do you think we're related? Do you like shoplifting and have an aversion to short people?

    *returns to World of Warcraft*

  17. Hey man, I might indulge in some D&D, but it's only to block out the dullness of my real life.
    Anyway, I'm in the city. We have no nature. I'll just pretend the living room is a wood and the cat is a badger. Or something.

  18. are you still getting "nature" all over everything?!? last week you were calling it "salad cream"??! what gives?


  19. pink: wha..? whuaa? *looks around blearily, wonders briefly about the presence of a harp seal in the bedroom, greets clowns, goes back to sleep*

    frobi: we can go steal some short people and blame them for our sinus issues; hows that? your meme next beloved!

    noshit: i plan on making you prove that, missy. oh hell yeah. prepare for a meme, baby! oh yeah!

    voices: huh; you're right. *shoos away pesky gulls* I wondered what was going on...

  20. wait - if you're going around trying to steal short people, i'm going hiding. then again, if you can find me, you're welcome to kidnap me. i could do with a vacation.

  21. Sometimes I think I love you. Seriously. I don't know what I enjoyed more, the snot or the nature notes.


  22. I really miss the funkyhauers on a day like this. snot snot snot snot snot.