Saturday, March 20, 2010


This is Pluvialis observing a melting lake at Volkspark Friedrichschain, just a little east of where I live. It seemed like the first day of proper spring sunshine and there was a twittery, delighted surfeit of birdsong and a tiny buff-coloured bat zoom-zoom-swooping around a statue of someone worthy-looking, which Pluvialis later found out was because sometimes just after hibernation they hunt during the day because they're really hungry. Bats, not worthy-people statues. Old people with crumply faces and carefully tucked-in rugs were being wheeled around, and so were tiny ear-flap-behatted kids in little red wagons, with slightly less tiny kids running around with sticks venting excitement in peep-peep-peep German like fast-paddling ducklings.

Not a leaf, though. The bleak frozen burnt brown everything, wrong under the sky, a Hawaiian shirt at a funeral in reverse. Pluvialis spies a hawfinch in the cold-scorched, deadly bare branches of the tree above us, instantly and breathlessly inarticulate except for the superb rhetoric of rarity unique to the truly devoted taxonomic zealot of anything at all. I like the tiny round-table fruit-salad of tits over there in the leaf litter, with the woodpidgeon bumbling at the edges. The leaves are all snow-dead, defrosted and floppy, no autumnal rustling as needle-like feet foof around among them, the tiniest tindery crackle and snap of the curled leading edges the sun has had time to dessicate. Soon there will be green, an expanding high-pressure leafy fireball putting these tiny feathered vistas into the shade again. But I'll be glad of the bloom.

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