Mountain Musings






Gazing out the kitchen window the other morning, I captured a glimpse of a little blue birdie peeking out of the porthole of a birdhouse my brother handcrafted and gifted me with many years ago. This immediately lifted my spirits, as I was feeling quite blue myself after discovering the Mottmobile wouldn’t start due to a dead battery and I wouldn’t be able to go to Goodwin’s to fetch a donut for breakfast.


“Listen to my bluebird laugh. She can’t tell you why. Deep within her heart, you see, she knows only crying, just crying. There she sits on a lofty perch, strangest color blue. Flying is forgotten now, thinks only of you.” (“Bluebird” – Buffalo Springfield – 1967 – Penned by Stephen Stills)


Adding to the amusement of my morning was a squirrel chasing several of momma bird’s little birdies around the tree in circles. Good thing my bloodthirsty cat didn’t witness this avian circus; he’s been known to lay in wait below the birdhouse for an opportune moment.


Birds have amazing abilities, not the least of which is being able to fly. But, more than that, they also possess mysterious, instinctual abilities in regard to nesting, foraging for prey and sensing changes in the seasons and weather. Most mysterious of all is their uncanny ability to maneuver in a tight “V” formation, much like the Air Force’s Thunderbirds.


I like birds…well, let me qualify that…except for the dang woodpeckers that wake me up in the morning with their incessant rat-a-tat-tat banging on the side of the house. You wouldn’t believe all the acorns I discovered in the attic the other day…shades of Mark Twain’s epic, 1880 “Blue Jay Yarn.”


Much like Twain’s blue jay, who couldn’t retrieve the acorns, I don’t know how these stupid woodpeckers figure to get theirs from my attic. By the way, the little bluebird I sighted was not an actual blue jay, but rather a “Steller’s Jay.” (I know this because I looked it up on Wikipedia) More irritating is when they rat-a-tat-tat on the stovepipe and they won’t quit rat-a-tatting, even when I bang on the bottom end of the stovepipe.


Again, I looked it up on Wikipedia and learned that this type of behavior is their mating call. Apparently, there’s no way to discourage a lustful woodpecker…except with my BB gun.


Just kidding, I would never do such a thing; however, there is this person I know, who many years ago plugged a woodpecker right between the eyes, in mid-air mind you, with my trusty Daisy Red Ryder. Even though I’m pretty sure the statute of limitations expired decades ago, I’m not identifying this person, other than by her nickname, “Annie Oakley.”


So, get all those blues, must be a thousand hues, and each just differently used. You just know, you sit there mesmerized by the depth of her eyes that you can’t categorize. She got soul, she got soul, she got soul…”


Keep it flyin’, Uncle Mott