Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Really Big Show

Friday: Phiance continues to do the 6-8 a.m. Fridays show on WRIR. Sometimes I am awake for it. We enjoyed Lee Harris and Country Sunshine.

Saturday: Phiance and I painted the kitchen ceiling and the bits of wall effected by the recent repairs. Later, we wished Star Wars a happy 30th by watching the first movie with some Mary Angela's pizza.

Sunday: Memorial Day pow-wow with T. She totally knew someone there, even though she acted like she wouldn't.

Monday: birdwatching along the James:
great blue heron
canada goose
mourning dove
belted kingfisher
red-bellied woodpecker
downy woodpecker
hairy woodpecker
red-eyed vireo
blue jay
carolina chickadee
tufted titmouse
carolina wren
blue-grey gnatcatcher
american robin
gray catbird
northern mockingbird
cedar waxwing
european starling
prothonotary warbler
indigo bunting
northern cardinal
song sparrow
red-winged blackbird
common grackle
brown-headed cowbird
american goldfinch

That's more species that the week before, when we went upstream and saw dozens of blackpoll warblers and even a redstart. On Monday, a man out with his wife and small daughter told us he had just seen a great-crested flycatcher, and I was annoyed to have missed it since they are cool-looking birds. It reminds me, though, that we saw an eastern kingbird in Byrd Park last week. Right now, our back alley and yard are full of baby (teen, really) bird action: lots of full-sized, fluffy young robins and grackles demanding to be fed. We saw some of that behavior while hiking yesterday, too, notably downy woodpecker and titmouse babies.

Also, we went to the Memorial Day program at the Carillon. They seated people inside this year, so we didn't hear the speechifying or much of the singing; just the honorary gunshots and the bells.

Read: I finished The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, by Dinaw Mengestu. The story and characters are very interesting: African immegrants and gentrification and memory and getting by in D.C. Yet it was a little short of comletely captivating.

It certainly makes me reflect on my neighborhood, in which flippers are gobbling up houses and spitting them back out in such numbers that most of them become rentals with large packs of noisy 20-somethings and several cars per home. The neighborhood is getting worse, in a way, even while values go up. I get furious when I see the flippers two doors down, then I think of the "gentry" character Judith in the book and how unwelcome she was at the nighborhood meeting. Am I being one of Them, the kind of Them who wants it to stay like it was when I moved in, with little note of what the neighborhood was like just before that?

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