Learning how to sing

Sturnus_vulgaris_-California-8 (1).jpg

Today I witnessed a starling singling lesson. An adult sat on my tv aerial and ran through it’s repertoire of clicks and whistles while a youngster sat two doors down attempting to imitate but producing little more that some scratchy squeals. The adult tried again, talking in the most animated fashion about, I guess, the sky, the weather, the amount of craneflies to eat and where to find them. He stopped and stared at the youngster as if to say, “go on then, you’re turn.”

After a moment the youngster began, quietly whispering a little ditty, like a shy teenager on a school stage on speech night. Then both fell quiet, contemplating perhaps that a few more lessons were going to be needed.

Happiness is…finding a woolly bear in my garden

woolly bear caterpillar

Woolly bears were everywhere when I was a little girl. They were the ‘go to’ caterpillar for the pre pubescent naturalist wishing to imprison them in a jar and watch them turn into chrysalis and then become the beautiful black and orange garden tiger moth. As children we lived with tales of the terrible rash which would erupt on our limbs if we touched them but touch them of course we did.Then they became rare then they seemed to disappear from our ever more tidy gardens.

Luckily, with all this rain, my garden is a jungle and the woolly bear can roam at will. This one was tucking into an evening meal of jasmine.