Three Things to Remember on a Monday Morning

“Dancing in the Streets” ~ Angel City Chorale, Los Angeles
Sue Fink, Founder and Artistic Director

 

Three Things to Remember

 

As long as you’re dancing,
you can break the rules.
Sometimes breaking the rules
is just extending the rules.
Sometimes, there are no rules.

 

Mary Oliver

 

Comments always are welcome.

A Song for the Situation


From Sabine to Chauvin, from NOLA to Pascagoula to Apalachicola, the watches are going up and the warnings will come. Even Gulf Coast residents well outside the current cones of uncertainty are uneasy; they know that tropical systems aren’t to be trusted, and it’s time to prepare.

It will take time for the tracks of Marco and Laura to be firmed up, but it’s clear that something’s lurking.  In the marinas, docklines are being doubled, and extra fenders hung. Gas lines are a little longer. In the local cafés and at the boat ramps, uncertainties stemming from this latest oddity — two hurricanes in the Gulf in one week? — are being endlessly discussed.

Amid it all, the unofficial anthem of hurricane season has re-emerged. There’s something comforting about Jimmy Buffett’s classic tale of preparation and resignation in the face of a storm, particularly if the shutters are hung, the boat’s secured, and the beer’s still cold. A few of you know the lyrics by heart. If the song is new to you, enjoy.

Comments always are welcome.

There’s No Place Like Home

Judged only by color, the small, snuffling creature making its way along the roadside east of Alamo Springs might have been taken for just another limestone rock. But rocks don’t have ears, or pointed snouts, and they certainly don’t dig into the dirt with the energy of a hyperactive toddler.

When the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) is foraging, there isn’t much that distracts it, partly because of its poor eyesight. The animal relies on its ears and nose to detect food or predators, and it’s easier than you might think to walk up on one from behind. When it finally senses your presence, it often raises up on its haunches to evaluate the situation.

I was surprised that this one seemed content to keep foraging even after spotting me, rather than scurrying away into the brush. I was especially pleased to be able to see some of the hairs around its sides; they function much like whiskers on a cat, helping the poorly-sighted creature to find its way around.

For nearly twenty minutes it wandered the roadside, stopping occasionally to sniff or to dig.

Eventually, it stopped sniffing and crossed the road, moving so quickly I had a hard time keeping up.

All was well until it came to the fence. For nearly five minutes, it walked back and forth along the wire, stopping occasionally as though considering whether it would be worth digging its way to the other side.

Apparently, it decided digging would be too much trouble. In a flash, the athletic armadillo jumped straight into the air, propelling itself onto the fence wire.

Then, as gracefully as you please, it pushed off the wire and landed on the ground.

With what might have been a grin of self-satisfaction on its face, it trotted down the fence line until it came to a patch of clean, soft dirt.

Claws flying, it began creating and enlarging a hole until, finally, it slipped beneath the fence, and out of sight.

It seemed our beloved Texas icon — the state’s official small mammal and well-known Muse — had arrived safely at home, just like Gary P. Nunn at the end of his London trip. Whether it celebrated by writing a song, I can’t say.

 

“London Homesick Blues”  aka “Home With the Armadillo”

 

Comments always are welcome.
For some interesting Texas armadillo history, visit “Armadillo Whispers” at The Task at Hand.