May 02, 2006
Springtime in the Tropics
There's also hurricane season, with all the attendant human anxiety and board cutting and storm tracking. And there's mango season, when Molly refuses to go in the backyard (she's allergic), Mike curses the local fruit rats, and neighbors we didn't know we suddenly show up on the stoop with grocery bags in hand. (I get some serious barking done this time of year).
But maybe the best time of year is springtime around the lake. The humidity doesn't yet make a thick-coated dog feel as if he's wallowing through a curtain of heat, lightning doesn't daily threaten an instant electric death, the lake water is still cool enough to enliven Labradors and, best of all, there's still the scent of green hope sending its undaunted tendrils into the harsh, stifling future of the coming tropical months.
The signs are plain all around the glorified retention pond that is my lake. In the still, clear water, you can see the circular bass nests throughout the shallows. These little craters are sewn with the seed of hot-blooded fish. The males chase each other out of one another's territories, guarding the nests as jealously as a dog does his porch. There are eggs there, I know, thousands of gooey little globes biding their time.
Life begins this way for all creatures, of course. On one side of the lake, the dumbest of domesticated white ducks - the kind I chase with a kind of disdain - has built a nest and laid her eggs nearly out in the open, next to a willow tree and green bench. And the cannier, wilder gullinule has built a nest down at the level of the water, one much harder to detect.
It's obvious, even to a Labrador, that the future has many enemies. There are sharp-beaked birds in the trees that attack the duck eggs, and there are little skate-boarding boys who've molested the gallinule eggs. I myself have stirred up the waters around some of the bass nests, to Molly's chagrin.
It's astonishing that life carries on at all. You, dear reader, are part of an unbroken chain of births dating back billions of years, if the human scientists are to be believed. Not once have your countless ancestors stumbled. Your forebears, and mine, were always the eggs that survived, the young that went uneaten, the babies that didn't perish in a precarious world. In other words, you and I are the longest of longest shots, the fruit of odds so long that they make your average lottery look like a sure bet. We are the inheritors of this impossible springtime. Today, I just want to prance through the green with a bough in my jaws and breath it all in.
i like it. this makes me re-evaluate a bit. i was in a low mood - a silly, down-on-myself mood, but this changes eveyrthing.
i come from a long line of survivors -eggs that make it to hatch time and from which crawl out creatures that make it the water, and back, again and again.
thanks! nothing better than reviewing the world from a dog's eye view.
Proud to be a survivor.
At 1:31 AM I didn't know anything anyone could write had that capacity.
Thank you Hank...good boy. Here's a cookie and a scratch behind your ear.
Love the blog. I have a friend in Florida her name is Isabella she is a standard poodle.
You do have lots of seasons in Florida.
hank you are a soulful wonderful dog. astute and pure of heart, white-faced in wisdom. i was kinda sour before i read this (ditto bird) cause i have some work pressure right now but this reminds me to be appreciative! thanks hank. you are a good dog!
(nice photo of the nest too!)
I wonder if you have seen this commercial, based on your other thoughts?
Hank, your insight to life is always a pleasure to read. I hope your owner forgets to close the treat jar and you will have your fill tonight. ;-)
Matter of fact, I bet a lot of em stumbled a lot and hit their heads on all sorts of stuff - the roof of the cave, the rock in the path that accidentally showed them where the food was. I bet the one that discovered fire was actually struck by lightning and caught on fire and the rest roasted meat around him or something.
But I'm glad they made it through all that, cause I think I like em a lot actually . . .
from the flower without
injuring its colour or fragrance,
May we all live life
contributing and not destroying.
Thanks for this lovely post.