02 June 2009

2006: Life and Death

June 02: Very early this morning, the swifts and martins were going nuts, loudly. The bugs must be everywhere because the birds are in non-stop take-away breakfast at high velocity. Quite harrowing to watch them and wonder how they keep from smacking into each other.

Thirty minutes later, two magpies make horrendous racket in back, for good reason. Seems one of the neighbourhood felines, our very own Le Chat Argent, "found" a magpie chick in its mouth and was carrying it somewhere local for its own "petit dejeuner" (breakfast). Following the recently-deceased and its captor was an adult male cat (new to me, all black, except for white chest and feet) and the two magpie adults. The ex-parents were incredibly loud, and everyone were oblivious to me as I photographed at least part of this cacophany. The birds dive-bombed the felines for the next 20 minutes or so as they moved from one shrub to another, until finally either the cats moved on further out of sight (ostensibly with their trophy in one fashion or another, or driven away in a pyrrhic victory for the birds).

Major Context Change Here -- My left knee hates me, but I can't say I blame it... You see, when The Boyz were still here, I managed to almost crush it when I tripped and came down obscenity-screaming hard (without the exclaimed obscenities, so some of you can either be proud or surprised. Your call :)). It was fun predicting the technicolour map my knee and calf would become, though I have to admit not knowing why it took 5 days to arrive. Then, about two weeks later, it got bumped, and I was limping for another day.

Well, yesterday, I was climbing a short little ridge at a panoramic overview in Laneros and managed to bang it hard AGAIN. So, what do I do today when Bretagne starts out blue-sky warm and gorgeous? I take the knee and the rest of the Body Park for a 4-mile walkabout around the south end of town, a loop through Maudez and Squibernevez (I LOVE the names of some of these towns). With the help of The Boyz' knee brace and the warmth of the walk, the world was truly enjoyable. Madame bade me "OOO, La La!" and "Bon Chance!" as I cleared her gate with backpack and camera, and she was laughing as my sweat-covered carcass poured itself inside the same gate about 90 minutes later. I have to admit the need to get out while the weather was good was overwhelming.

As if karma was out there listening, the skies have clouded over pretty heavily since I returned, and it will be no surprise if thunderstorms appear this evening... But to be here and enjoying the last 36 hours is one treat I intend to remember...

[later] The skies have returned to blue, the clouds are near the horizon, the martins are feeding fledgling young, tightly-packed and balanced on local television aerials, and as I was exploring the back garden came upon La Chat Gris and her Chatons nibbling on what was left of this morning's magpie tartare...

Life goes on...

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