Birds and Bees

It’s tempting, when a stranger asks me what I do, to say, “I make things up.”  It’d be the honest answer, for the most part.

Now and then my work leads me, usually kicking and screaming, to do some research.  I’m currently reading a book that should solve all my financial concerns: “Treasure Ships of the Great Lakes: Your Guide to Over a Billion Dollars in Gold, Silver, Jewelry, Rare Coins and Valuable Cargoes Aboard Treasure Ships in the Great Lakes.”  Wow.  All  I need to learn now is how to scuba dive!

I’m also reading a lot about birds, and could there be a better time of year for that?  It turns out that male birds, besides getting the brightest feathers, also get the most melodious songs–all in service of attracting those girls.  I found out that birds sing at dawn not only because it’s quietest then, but also because after a long night of no eating, they are at their most vulnerable, and singing loud proves their virility!  I’ve also gathered the odd, unusable, astonishing fact, such as that there’s an African bird who flies up above the tree canopy, hundreds of feet in the air, then spirals down like a roller coaster, all the while beating its tail so its feathers make a sound like a drum that can be heard all over the forest.  Now that I could almost have made up…

Oh and the bees?  Almost as thrilling as my crocuses opening at last was the appearance of two busy bees dipping in and out of the parachute-silk petals.