Wednesday, March 10, 2010

'We Come And We Go...'

'... it's a thing that I keep in the back of my head.' - Paul Simon

This morning I saw a male cardinal, sporting that impossible color, topknot erect, whole body alert and ready for whatever came its way, sitting on a backyard fence. I see them occasionally here at the house, as I almost never did at the apartment complex.  They just didn't come around.

I ask you, what kind of human habitation is unfit for birds?

That reminded me of a toad. No, I kid you not: when I was a very young child, we lived in a rental duplex... brick, real yard and everything; people of modest means often lived in civilized circumstances back then... and Mom and Dad kept a small flower garden on one side of the house. Some evenings we would water the garden as a family, taking turns at the hose, watching the family of toads that lived under the house come out to soak up some water. There were a lot of them! Many years later, I learned that they were of the species Houston toad (Bufo houstonensis). Years later again, I learned that they are an endangered species, with only 3000-4000 adults left alive in the world.  

I ask you, what kind of human habitation is unfit for toads?

That thing we're doing to the planet we live on? We're not doing it only to ourselves. When we "all go together when we go" (Tom Lehrer), "we" will include all the toads and cardinals.

It's a thing that I keep in the back of my head.

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